What I did on my summer break: Part 3, July

September 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Yes, I’m still doing this. Part 4 will be the last one (August). Blogging is hard, ya’ll. I’m thinking of maybe doing a “blog every day” challenge for myself in October to really try to get back in the habit. I was wrong about July having less photos, however. This will be much, much too long. Just skip this one, as fascinating as it may be. I’m sorry if it locked up your computer trying to load.

Stuff that happened in July (not necessarily in the order in which it happened):

I finally got the dining room cleaned out enough that we could have our first family meal in there together.

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We had a Fourth of July party at our house.

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I hosted a girls night in.

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My friend Paula gave me this adorable dolphin wind chime as a housewarming gift:

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My neighbors have a gorgeous house with a gorgeous pool and cabana. After describing it to my friends they had to climb our barbecue grill and check it out for themselves.

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My neighbors totally busted them and were looking out the window at the ladies spying on them. I guess they weren’t offended because they have still been nice to me.

The boys and I went to Linger Lodge with our friends Ali and Molly.

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Do not visit Linger Lodge if you hate taxidermy.

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We went to the beach with a bunch of friends, stopping at a bait store first to buy Mack a new net.

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Around the house, we finally got the blinds installed in the living room.

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I made curtains for our living room window. This is probably my largest sewing project to date. I am very proud of these curtains.

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I had the grout and tile in our kitchen professionally cleaned, and they did an amazing job (Groutworks…highly recommend). Before being cleaned, this grout was a dark grey color and the tile was also dark grey in all of it’s textured spots. It’s over 20 years old but it honestly looks brand new now.

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Chad had the pool table refurbished. Chewie supervised.

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I’m kind of obsessed with these GIFs that Google+ automatically creates when you take several photos of a similar scene.

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I did a bunch of antiquing and shopping for the house and had fun decorating.

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The house continues to be a work in progress but the living room is now my favorite room and where I hang out most of the time.

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We had a couple of swim meets.

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I finally decided to sign up for Gwynnie Bee. It’s like Netflix for clothes (sizes 10 and up). Check it out. Tell them I sent you.

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The boys and I went to the Cool Art Show at the coliseum (wearing a Gwynnie Bee dress).

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We got to meet Mark Noll, the artist who did Chewie’s portrait, in person. He was displaying some of his amazing carvings and sculpture. Why didn’t I take a photo of that? Click here to see more of his work.

The boys went to Eckerd College All Sports camp.

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They got their free Slurpees on 7/11.

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Cal went to sleep-away camp for a week with his buddies.

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We got Mack registered at his new school. When we moved we changed elementary school districts. Cal’s school program is a county-wide magnet, so he didn’t have to change schools.

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The boys and I had a little photo shoot at Coffee Pot Bayou park.

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I had a fun night out with my friend Ali. We started off with sushi at Ichiban.

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Then we hit up Beaks Old Florida for a drink. Don’t forget to always check in on Yelp.

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Finally we went to a fashion show at ARTpool. This time it was Trashion Fashion, where all of the ensembles were created from upcycled materials. My friend Charlotte (of Charlotte Smiled) and her daughter were both artists and models at this show.

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Good job ladies!

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The models were all spread out throughout ARTpool giving us a preview of the show.

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Ali’s daughter had a dress that she created on display in the store.

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Of course we had VIP tickets…

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with seats right at the end of the runway. That’s how we roll.

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And now wayyyyy too many photos from the fashion show. Start speed-scrolling now.

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Charlotte and her daughter take the runway…

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There were so many artists at this show! It went on quite a long while. Just keep scrolling.

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Whew. And that wasn’t even all of them! It was a great show. Afterwards we hung out in the ARTpool courtyard for a while.

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Fun night.

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Holy cow. That took forever. Here’s hoping that I didn’t take so many photos in August.

Cya.

One week down

September 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm

So I survived my first week on the Whole30. It’s definitely been easier this time around, probably since I knew what to expect. I also didn’t have headaches or the “carb flu” this time. I had half-heartedly been trying to limit carbs leading up to September, but there were still margaritas and ice cream quite often.

On Sunday (the 1st) the boys and I went to Al Lopez Park to burn off some energy…

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then went to Whole Foods to get stocked up on good stuff.

I started off the week by doing a bunch of food prep. I made homemade breakfast sausage from a recipe in Paleo Comfort Foods.

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I made a batch of Thai meatballs using my own made-up recipe.

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I think planning and food-prep is key to a successful Whole30. There aren’t many “quick” meals on the Whole30 unless you have made things in advance. Carrots and almond butter usually don’t sound very appealing for dinner. If you are going to roast veggies, might as well make enough for a few days.

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I’m not photographing all my Whole30 meals this time around, but for some reason I always want to photograph my breakfasts. They are so beautiful.

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I always think breakfast needs greens. These beautiful beet greens made it into an unphotographed breakfast:

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Chewie and I went for several long walks last week.

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It is still scorching summer here in Florida. So HOT. We have a great 3.5 mile route from our house with a dog park at the turn-around spot where Chewie can get water. The only problem with that is he thinks he should be finished and then tries to stop at every shady spot for the remainder of the walk home. We are both trying to get back into shape.

Chewie was in the dog house one day last week for rolling in cat poop on his morning constitutional.

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Bathing a dog is what I most like to do first thing in the morning on a school day. I was in a great mood that day.

Friday night Chad and I headed out to St. Pete Beach for date night.

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We went to a Yelp event at the Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach, sponsored by Pretzel Crisps.

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We picked up our friends Amy and Brynn on the way there.

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Since I was Whole30’ing it, Amy agreed to try the complimentary cocktail for me. It was a sweet tea vodka lemonade. She said it was pretty good. Thanks for being my test-taster Amy.

They also had a Pretzel Crisps and dip bar…

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and had passed appetizers on Pretzel Crisps.

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Even though I couldn’t eat the Pretzel Crisps, I did pose for a photo with an appetizer so that I could enter the Twitter contest for a door prize.

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And I won! I got a big goody bag full of Pretzel Crisps and coupons for free bags…like a year’s supply of Pretzel Crisps!

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You can’t win if you don’t play! Thanks Pretzel Crisps and Yelp Tampa Bay. It was a fun event. I had fun hanging out with my friends even if I couldn’t eat or drink. I definitely can see us booking a weekend staycation at the Postcard Inn with the boys some time. We liked the funky décor.

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As the event was winding down, our friends had to leave but we met up with another friend for dinner downstairs at the PCI (Postcard Inn) Bar & Grill.

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Chad had the fish tacos which looked amazing.

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I had the baby back ribs with no rub or sauce and collard greens and a tomato/cucumber salad on the side.

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The smoked ribs were great just naked. I avoided the bacon in the collard greens since I’m sure it wasn’t compliant, and really just picked at them. I realized I had collard greens for breakfast and dinner that day. I think this was a pretty great Whole30 dinner at a restaurant. I had a big conversation with the server about everything beforehand, and she was great about answering my questions. I highly suggest asking about naked smoked ribs if eating at a BBQ place and trying to avoid sugar!

Saturday morning my friend Ali and I headed to Brocante Vintage Market, a once a month extravaganza of vintage awesomeness here in St. Pete.

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We went to the first one last month, and were sure to be near the front of the line as the doors opened this time. When I continue with my summer catch-up posts (sorry, not done with those yet), I’ll show you what I got last time.

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We got there about 8:40 and were second in line, although we didn’t realize there would be such a long line this month! This was just the beginning…

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By the time they opened the doors the line stretched down the street. Word is out…this market is fantastic.

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It was crazy chaos, but everyone was having fun.

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I posted that photo above on Facebook…do you know where all those hands came from and what their original purpose was? Don’t cheat.

I was like a magpie drawn to shiny gold and brass this month.

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This mid-century floor lamp was irresistible, even though I wasn’t sure where I wanted to put it. It was just slightly dinged up, but still gorgeous (to me). It worked fine, and at $45 it came home with me.

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Cal took a few photos of me in my pajamas with the lamp in action and Google+ turned it into a GIF. I love that new feature of Google+…it just does it without you even knowing it’s going to do it.

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Here’s the other stuff I bought:

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That starburst is part of a vintage clock.

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I liked it because it has a “C” in the middle. Chad and I don’t always agree on home decorating ideas. He liked the floor lamp, but said that the “C” starburst crosses over into the “junk” category. Whatever.

After Brocante Market, Ali and I went by the new Casa di Mazzaro, the new home décor and tea room baby of Mazzaro’s Italian Market.

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They have all kinds of kitchen gadgets and equipment…

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lots of nice-smelling stuff…

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and all sorts of home décor and gifts.

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We also went next door to the market where I found some Whole30 compliant chorizo!

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Ali and I hooked back up later in the afternoon for pedicures. It was a good Saturday.

On Sunday the boys and I went by a sidewalk sale by Buffalo Gals Vintage which recently went out of business. Everything was $4 and Cal scored a tuxedo jacket and a Joker’s mask.

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He has been wanting to go thrifting for a while, so this cardboard-box diving was all for him. Next we went to Haslam’s Bookstore a few blocks further down on Central Avenue.

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Cal needed a copy of Animal Farm for school. I spotted two of my favorite books at the moment…

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We capped off our Sunday with some froyo (for the boys only of course).

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That’s it.

I feel like the Whole30 is a reset for me. It forces me to get back to basics and get back into the kitchen. So far so good. I still need to get back into the habit of daily exercise, and get back to doing some workouts with more intensity. Working on it. Maybe I’ll be more motivated once the weather cools off a little?

Cya.