Friday, February 5, 2016


I don't know if you're familiar with Whole 30. It's an elimination diet where you don't eat soy, legumes, grains, dairy, sugar, or gluten for 30 days. (The answers to what you are probably thinking are "Meat, veggies, fruit, and fats" and "because I'm crazy.")

The actual answer is because my stomach is often having...troubles, and it seemed to be associated with eating. But short of logging everything I eat plus every symptom I have (booooring) it's hard to pin point what is upsetting my tummy. So the idea is that you eliminate the foods that cause inflammation/irritation and see your life improve, then re-introduce them one at a time to find your culprit. (I am not convinced that all of those foods are actually irritants, but obviously one of them was, because I feel much improved.)

You will find on the internet claims that it cures everything from infertility to eczema. I haven't quite seen that, but my digestive issues have abated, which is all I really wanted. Plus I've lost ten pounds in not even three weeks. Which isn't that hard when your snack options are fruits, nuts, beef jerky, hard boiled egg, etc.  Not that I need to snack as much, though, because between the protein, fiber, and healthy fats I definitely don't get as hangry. I can tell when I'm actually hungry because, yeah, I'll take that apple and thank you for it. But when everyone else at the Grease Live! party is eating chocolate and you're having a Granny Smith, it's pretty sad.  (Fear not, I claimed a handful of Ghiradelli squares and tucked them away for when this is over.)

It definitely has been a lot of prep work--there is basically nothing you can just grab and go, although I have been bending the rules with Lara Bars--but it's not actually hard.  I miss cheese and bread and whatnot, but it's fine. I'm learning to like new foods (sweet potatoes...who knew?!) but because I'm used to everything being carb-based, it's been a big shift. And of course there's some monotony because I only like four meats, but dinner was feeling monotonous when I had the whole grain-based world available to me, so the problem may be more with me than with the options.

Anyway, it's not fun, but I would recommend it to people who have tummy troubles, an out of control sweet tooth (guilty!), want to eat less junk, etc.  And while the stated intention of the program isn't weight loss (no calorie counting or macro balancing or anything!), pretty much everyone does lose weight on it, so it's a nice extra feature.  I've also found that as I'm eating better I feel more motivated to exercise, which makes me want to eat healthier, etc., so it's a nice feedback loop.

All I'm saying is if I can do it, anyone can, so if you've been on the fence, I say go for it.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Things I like

Things I like, because money:

Ebates – Gives cash back on purchases made through their site. I fill up my cart at whatever site—Old Navy, JCPenney, and Kohl’s are some of my big ones—then go to ebates and click through. My cart is still there, I check out as normal, then a few minutes later ebates sends me an email that says “Hey, you’re getting $3.75 back on that purchase!” When you hit a certain threshold ($5, maybe?) it will automatically deposit in your PayPal. If you sign up through this link I get like, $5, and you get $10 (I think).

Bing – I don’t care for the search results, per se, but they have pretty pictures and they pay you to use it. I always get mine in Amazon gift cards, but you can do like, Hulu+ subscriptions or whatever floats your boat. If you sign up through this link and get silver status within 60 days, I get a bonus. (I don’t think you get anything, other than earning those Amazon gift cards.)

Thredup – I mentioned this one on Facebook. A little more expensive than Goodwill, but without having to paw through all those 1997 oversized tees. (Or is that just my part of town?) Use the link and we both get a $20 credit.  I may have used mine for a maternity tunic. Not an announcement. Just planning ahead, cuz that shiz ain’t cheap.

And the thing I love most of all…YNAB! Also known as You Need a Budget, it’s a swell software that is WAY BETTER THAN MINT. You gotta get this. For one thing, Mint wants you to FORECAST what you think you’ll earn that month, but YNAB only wants you to budget the money you HAVE NOW.  And will actually let you budget for next month before you hit that month, which always drove me crazy come the 25th or so.  It’s kind of a digital envelope system, if you know Dave Ramsey but find it ridiculous to carry around envelops of cash in the year 2015 A.D.  It does have a one-time charge (there’s $6 for both of us if you use this link) but it’s worth it. AND, if you take the online course, they give away a free copy in every class. That’s how I got my license, but I would have paid for it, that’s how much I like it. It’s also free for college students. And they have great customer service (UNLIKE MINT.) I could create a whole dang website just about YNAB. I heart-eyes-emoji it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Oh man, I didn't realize how long my blog had been languishing until Jane linked to it, I clicked through, and realized I haven't updated since January. I didn't even do my birthday post!

The first entry on my birthday list is also the reason I have been extra lax--I got called as Young Women's president. Turns out that takes a lot of time! And Adam got called as a Cub Scout leader, which wouldn't ordinarily take a lot of my time, except that his co-leader was a flake and every time he bailed at the last minute I had to step in. And Adam quit to go back to school full time, but two of his classes are at night, so I'm single parenting, etc etc. I'm busy, okay?

Sometimes I dream of being a professional blogger, but I'd really have to get a gimmick, and then I get overwhelmed by the thought of it quickly overwhelms me and I give up, as per usual for basically everything. I keep reminding myself that this isn't permanent. The whole point of going back to school is so maybe one day I don't have to work full time. That's all I want. Just a little breathing room in the week. Dare to dream.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Reluctantly gluten free

On Monday, I was saying that we needed to eat more vegetables and eat out less. On Tuesday, we got a call that hubs tested positive for celiac disease. So yeah, we're going to be eating more vegetables and pretty much exclusively eating at home.

This is one of those times where there's good news and bad news, but it's the same news. It's great that hr might actually be able to get some relief, but bad because gluten is delicious. We're all going to be gluten free at home, because there's too much risk of cross contamination.

It's going to be expensive, too. We need to buy a new toaster! A tiny box of GF flour is seven bucks. A single serve frozen meal is four. We went to the store the day we found out, just to get through the week until we can get a better game plan. It was over $100 for not that much food. But worth it, if it works.

Everything has gluten, though. Soy sauce! Taco seasoning! It's ridiculous. And so many companies are too wussy to just commit and make their food gluten-free. Instead they c their a with "manufactured on equipment that also processes wheat" disclaimers. I understand how people felt when they committed to making Chex cereal gluten-free.

It's not like we can't eat regular food--we had chicken nachos last night, which I think was a comfort. Some of the dishes we used to eat are still okay, but it's all just a lot more work and label diligence. But like I said, worth it if it works. And lunch at work is going to be all the gluten, all the time.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Giving thanks

I have to work today, the day after Thanksgiving, for the first time in probably 13 years. And to add lemon juice to the injury that is a four day weekend that might have been, P was awake before I left and started crying when I closed the door. Oh, how my weepy heart broke. It is no easy thing to be away from my baby all day, and it's even worse when everyone else is at home!

But, I am thankful for her. Having a child is a kind of joy that I can't even describe. It is the best hardest thing I've ever done.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday music

C'mon you guys. Just one more week. You can wait.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


More fun than my bank's birthday greeting

It's been a busy year. I was on maternity leave for my last birthday, which probably explains how I forgot how old I was. At one point last fall the hubs said something about me being 32 and I had to stop and do the math. I was 32! How did that happen?! I guess the counter in my brain never clicked up to the next number. 

So since last year, I...

Went back to work (horrible)
Got laid off (horrible)
Had a month between jobs (kinda nice! P and I went to the movies every week.)
Found a new job (good) (new job is actually in my line o' work...even better, though they still haven't made me permanent, which means no insurance or paid time off, sigh)
Took the baby on her first vacation!

Um...I'm running out of stuff. Overall it was just keeping everyone alive and fed and mostly clean. But it was lots of fun, too. Lots of firsts to witness and enjoy.  Obviously I knew I'd love my baby, but sometimes I'm still overwhelmed by just how.much.  She is amazing, and it's been the hardest, happiest year yet.

So much fun at the zoo on our first vacation!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Potter Party Part 2

The party was a rousing success! (Perhaps too much of one--note to self, put an end time on the invitation.)

We made fun bunting for decorations

And we made ties. Everyone (except for the birthday girl) put on the Sorting Hat and pulled a tie from a basket. Hers was a special mix of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, since she's a special mix of her parents.

The menu was a challenge. I wanted Harry Potter-themed food, but September 1 in Phoenix is a tad warmer than the north of England (Scotland? the book is unspecific) and roasts and chops is a bit heavy. So we had baked potatoes,salad, and carrots with dip, with butterbeer (cream soda with a topping made of heavy cream, marshmallow creme, and butter flavoring, which is remarkably close to what they have in Orlando) and jelly beans. Each food had a quote from the books next to it.

And of course, we enjoyed cupcakes.

I made playdoh for the kids to "transfigure," but they mostly just played with P's presents. *shrug*

All in all, it was lots of fun! Exhausting, delicious fun!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Potter Party Part 1

We've still got a month until baby P turns one, but we made the invitations today. They're pretty epic. I'm really pulling out the stops (for me, anyway) for this party. I think we're mostly celebrating that we all made it through the first year alive. Every other party from here on out is probably going to be room temperature pizza and playing in the hose. This year, though...this year is The Girl Who Lived.



And that's just the beginning. So much fun to plan.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The encyclopedia of bad dates

I was thinking the other day about all the bad dates I've been on. There are a lot of them. I'm starting to think that it's a disproportionately high number of bad dates. So I got to thinking that I should change names and details and turn them into a novel. (I'm always looking for things to turn into novels.) But not just a novel, but like an encyclopedia, where each chapter starts with a definition of a kind of bad date. The bait-and-switch, parental interference, mid-date abandonment, to infinity and beyond, etc. Some of them were so bad that I would actually split them up into multiple definitions, just because it's so unbelievable that so many ridiculous, awful things could happen on one date (but they did. oh, how they did). Others weren't necessarily terrible, but had something weird enough happen that it makes an okay story. Like the time a date and I were walking downtown and someone else started hitting on me. He was really nice about it--I think the other guy may have had developmental delays--but it was funny and weird.

Then I got to thinking of other people I know who have had lousy dates. You know, so I can appropriate their experiences into my book. I think Reva had someone steal a car once? That's pretty epic. I have another friend who had a date try to guess her weight...and he guessed high. I was nice enough to go out with a kid after he told me he had asked everyone else he could think of, but they all said no. (It was exactly as great an evening as you are imagining.)

So yeah. Lots of bad dates. What's your worst?