Whole30 Staples and Meals

I wanted to make a list of what we usually purchase from the grocery store (or 3 stores in our case) and the meals we’ve been making, Granted we have only done this for about a week and are starting over but this at least really helped us in the first week and what I’m using as I start the second first week!

Green veggies such as:
– asparagus
– brussel sprouts
– green beans
– bell peppers
– organic chicken
– kombuchas

(this is an international food store but sells from local farmers)
– local beef
– local eggs
– ghee
– seasonal local veggies: apples, flat green beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, onions

Annie Kays
(this is a local natural market)
– Seasonal local meat (right now in winter the selection is limited to beef, bison & pork)
– ground pork sausage
– bison burgers
– pork chops
– coconut milk

Our meals have been mostly meat and veggie, here’s a typical day:

Breakfast: sausage patty, 2 eggs, avocado, coffee w/coconut milk
Snack: apple w/kombucha
Lunch: Paleomg pizza bake
Dinner: Bison burger between two thick tomato slices w/sautéed onions, sweet potato fries and roasted flat green beans

I’m sure as the days go on we’ll add more staples but this is what has worked for us so far!


Whole30 : Starting Over

Last Thursday the hubs and I headed to Orlando for my cousins wedding. I did the best I could to prepare with the following items:

– wholly guacamole 100 cal packs
– cut up veggies
– lara bars (protein bars for him)
– almonds
– freeze dried fruit with no additives (from Target)
– Kombuchas
– apples

and I also picked up Chipotle for us on our way out. So basically I lasted until that evening. We left at 12pm and arrived in Orlando around 10. Soon after we arrived a bunch of us headed to a dualing piano bar and I ordered a club soda. We were there for about an hour then I started to not feel so great as I hadn’t eaten a meal since around 2pm when I dove into my Chipotle. We left the bar with my brother and his gf in search of food, everything we passed at that point was closed so we headed back to the hotel and went to their little quick mart for something. The only “meal” they had were salads (a good option but not what I wanted at 1am) and wraps, naturally I went with the wrap, ate all of it which was a bad idea as well and from there I threw up my hands to Whole30.

I would like to say I am happy I got to enjoy myself for the weekend though, we headed to Universal Studios on Saturday to visit both Harry Potter parks and we got really into it! Kevin and I got cold butterbeer, frozen butterbeer, butterbeer ice cream, a chocolate frog to eat on the Hogwarts Express and pumpkin juice! It was pretty awesome. We had a great time and Kevin was in his prime & seriously nerding out with his HP trivia (which we all enjoyed!).



on the Hogwarts Express (and yes it rained the whole day which didn't deter many people including us)

on the Hogwarts Express (and yes it rained the whole day which didn’t deter many people including us)

Sunday we headed back home and on our way we took a bit of a detour to stop and see my other brother at his new place in Gainesville, FL! Here is his puppy:


We are now home and starting Whole30 today (I bought some items last night before we headed to dinner but will need to go back out for more necessities).

Whole30 : Meal Planning

Day 3 has been a little rough. I was thisclose to grabbing a skinnycow out of the freezer but luckily quickly heated up a leftover bison burger, sweet potato fries, onions and ate the burger in between two slices of local tomato- yum!

I did have extra snacks which is frowned upon. I’m doing my best to get out of the habit of eating every 2-3 hours even though I’m eating 3 fairly large, well rounded meals. The hubs wound up coming home a bit later than scheduled which pushed back our workout time and I got super hungry and grabbed a second apple.

Anyway, I wanted to create a meal plan with what is remaining in the fridge for the next 3 days:

D4M1: 2 local eggs, local homemade breakfast sausage, avocado, coffee + coconut milk

D4M2: leftover bison burger w/tomato slices, onions & broccoli

D4M3: leftover chicken drumsticks w/local green beans


D5M1: 2 local eggs, local homemade breakfast sausage, avocado, coffee + coconut milk

D5M2: leftover PaleOMG pizza bake w/asparagus

a very unappetizing picture of leftover PaleOMG pizza bake

a very unappetizing picture of leftover PaleOMG pizza bake

D5M3: Pork chops w/sweet potato fries


D6M1: 2 local eggs, local homemade breakfast sausage, avocado, coffee + coconut milk

D6M2: Chipotle (salad bowl, fajita veggies, chicken, pico, guac, lettuce)

D6M3: Road tripping food (hard boiled eggs, lara bar, almonds, apple)

Having this meal plan to refer to will certainly make it easier to stick to the schedule! It’s pretty distracting to work right above the kitchen but we’ll make this happen!

Whole 30 Round 2

OK so long time no talk! And taking a big side leap from DIY posts to “healthy living blog style” by documenting our Whole 30 Round 2 journey.

A few weeks ago I brought up doing a second round of Whole30 to the hubs & he was certainly up for the challenge. We did a Whole 30 in February 2014 but 1) we only made it 26 or 27 days I believe and 2) I was counting calories 3) I’m pretty sure I survived mainly off almond butter so of course gained weight on the detox.

Anyway, a few reasons I wanted to repeat the challenge:

  • We recently road tripped to NJ (about an 8.5 hr drive) and listened to Omnivore’s Dilemma on tape (side note- I highly recommend books on tape after that experience)
  • Listening to the book really gave us a more educated outlook on the foods we eat, honestly we’re pretty clean eaters in general but certainly enjoy a box of cereal, Skinnycows nightly, chips and salsa- yes please! and just wanted to have a reason to decline these and see how my body reacts
  • My face (specifically my chin) has been breaking out A LOT worse than normal lately and I wanted to see how cutting out dairy and sugar will affect my skin
  • After losing some weight by counting calories I’ve stayed the same weight for about 6 weeks. I don’t really want to call it a plateau because if I was as consistent with tracking on weekends as I am during the week this more than likely wouldn’t be the case

Ok, so there are a few reasons I’m jumping into this! Kevin is on board but said from the beginning he’s going to supplement his diet with ezekiel bread, protein bars & protein shakes which is totally fine- whatever he needs to do in order to not lose weight!

Here’s a general meal plan from the past few days. We technically started on Wednesday, 2/18 but went to a party on Friday and of course caved when I saw pretzel thins, hummus & carrot cake. So I restarted on Saturday so we’re currently on Day 3 over here!


2 local eggs, local homemade breakfast sausage & avocado


coffee w/frothed coconut milk

Meal 1: local eggs, local breakfast sausage & avocado; coffee w/coconut milk (this is a daily standard, I just mix up the way my eggs are cooked- sunny side up, scrambled or omelet style)


Brocooli Slaw w/ (a failed attempt) avocado dressing

Meal 2: this and dinner varies (but not far- meat and veggies of course!):

  • PaleOMG pizza bake (I seriously can’t get over how good this is) w/broccoli slaw
  • chicken drumsticks w/broccoli slaw
  • Local eggs & sausage
  • Larabar (when I don’t feel like cooking or eating to close to Crossfit)
  • Chipotle

Meal 3: this is really similar to our Meal 2’s:

  • PaleOMG pizza bake w/brussel sprouts
  • Local Pork chops w/crispy green beans
  • Local bison burgers w/brussel sprouts & local sweet potato fries

One thing we try really hard to do is buy as much local meat, produce & eggs as possible. Because it’s winter the only seasonal meat available is red meat & pork so we rotate between that but also buy chicken from Kroger (which we prefer not to do & if you’ve read Omnivore’s Dilemma you’ll understand why but we don’t feel great eating red meat or “the other white meat” 3 times a day!)


mmmm probiotics

Snacks: The idea and goal of Whole30 is to eliminate snacking as much as possible. While I do my best I still haven’t been able to nix the apple, Kombucha or almonds..hopefully soon!

So that’s my recap so far! We are heading to Orlando, FL for a wedding soon so I am going to do my absolute best and prepare myself as much as possible for success!

How To Apply Decal Dots To Walls

When we first bought our house a couple months ago, I had the idea stuck in my head to paint below the chair rail metallic gold stripes and above a bold, dark color. After painting two rooms I realized I did not want to put forth much effort in painting stripes (I’m sure it wouldn’t be too bad, but I wasn’t up for it).

decal collage

I still really wanted to move forward with the “gold office” theme and started coming across the gold dot decals all over the walls and just LOVED the look:

When my sister-in-law and brother-in-law stopped by the house and we gave them an “updated” tour, I mentioned my idea and my sister-in-law offered to make the gold decal dots!! I was thrilled! Not long after, I was able to put them up on our bold navy/purple walls and just can’t stop staring at how pretty it is!


Now applying the decals is the best part! I didn’t measure a thing! I requested ~150 decals and got ~340 (I know, she’s awesome!) and was able to just clutter them at the top of the wall and scatter them down. I also love that the decals won’t be in the way of any pictures we will hang in the future as the ceilings are pretty tall and the dots don’t even come to my eye level!

Here’s a before and after:






By the way, if you are interested in a bold color, I highly recommend this one by Behr. I love how the color changes from a deep purple to a royal blue during the day! It’s extremely rich and I feel bad for whoever will be painting the walls once we move 😉

DIY Hanging Pine Cone Wreath

I’ve been on the hunt for a cute fall wreath lately and they’re all either too expensive or just not exactly my style. I recently came across a pine cone wreath on Pinterest a couple weeks back and thought, OK I have quite a bit of pine cones from my christmas decor I can make this work. But then I saw the hanging pine cone wreath and thought, OK I can get that done in 15 minutes!

3 dollarwreath

The other day I stopped at Michael’s to find some ribbon for my wreath and used a 40% coupon (love the app!). That was all I needed to for my wreath and I had some time before work today so I got to work! I went down to the basement and got a bag of pine cones from one of our christmas containers, grabbed the hot glue gun, some scissors, measuring tape and a ribbon and I was ready to get to work!


Step by step:

  • cut ribbon into 24″ strips
  • adhere ribbon to pine cone with glue gun
  • stagger pine cones and tie together with remaining ribbon


I only had enough ribbon for 7 pine cones, so I only used 7 pine cones and I think it works perfectly! This is such an easy project and since I had all the materials (minus the ribbon) it only cost me $3! Compared to wreaths in the stores at $45+ this was a steal!



I think I will be adding some bows to the tops of the pinecones because they do look a little messy with just the end of the ribbon resting on the pine cones and all the straggly dried hot glue. But still, easy peasy!


Painting over Texture

When we first toured our house we couldn’t believe 1) how much green paint is here and 2) the brown suede walls in the upstairs master. The suede texture comes from some sort of sand that we assume was mixed in with the brown paint. I can’t describe how ugly it was and the pictures don’t do it justice. Luckily, it is gone now.

nova to swva texture paint

We talked to a lot of family members about how we would go about painting it and decided the only way to get rid of the sand-like-texture was to use an orbital sander and sand the entire room. This did not seem an easy feat not only because the room is rather large but because of all the dust that would escape into the rest of the house. We were sort of dreading this project and then Kevin’s Dad suggested getting a quote from a professional painter and just avoid it all together which was sounding better and better.

Kevin’s family came down not too long after we moved in and of course brought up the discussion again about what to do about this room! Our sister-in-law suggested buying a really thick primer and just trying out a swatch to see how well it would cover the texture.  We had no idea if this would work and went ahead to give it a whirl.

The next day we researched a few primers and decided on Zinsser’s Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer as it came highly recommended by the paint guy at Lowe’s. We had already picked up a test jar of our paint selection (Polished Stone by Behr) so we headed back home to lay down some plastic, taped off the baseboard and applied the primer! We decided to see how well the primer worked by also doing a swatch without the primer and just paint. We let it dry a few hours and came back to the obvious choice of paint & primer. You could not only see the difference with the primer but to the touch was what sold us.

Above is without primer, below is with

Above is without primer, below is with

Master Bedroom Prep

The previous tenants (or whomever painted the room) didn’t do the best job of not painting the baseboards as well. We decided instead of taping off the baseboard, we’d just tape the plastic to a low point of the trim and if any of the primer hit the baseboard it’d be fine since we needed to paint them again anyhow.


Prep work for painting is NOT fun, we realized this really quickly. My biggest complaint about the primer is definitely the smell but really there doesn’t seem to be a way to avoid this. Even with the windows open and the ceiling fan on it was pretty intense. We completed one coat of primer, waited 2 hours for it to dry then went ahead and taped the trim and ceiling.

1st Coat

The next day we headed to Charlottesville for Kevin’s Grandpop’s 93rd birthday so the second coat and trim waited until Monday-Wednesday…

I’m so happy with the way this room turned out. It took a few days for it to completely air out but I set a candle (on a warmer) with the ceiling fan on for about a day and I think this helped tremendously. If you are dealing with textured paint, try a thick primer like the one we bought and just go for a test swatch! This will certainly save you time and money if it does work instead of immediately planning on outsourcing or sanding the job!

Our Master Bedroom