Week One: Dairy & Gluten

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I typed out so many different intros to this post, and I couldn’t decide on one. So, I’m going to use them all.

  • Dare I cut out dairy? (Insert pun about gluten here)
  • There seems to be a wellness trend happening right now where everyone is showing their facial regimens and giving sneak peeks of the vitamins and supplements that they take daily, and I am all over it. Show me all of the secrets that lie in your medicine cabinet.
  • Let me start by saying that I like my body. Body positivity? I’m all about it.
  • Cutting out gluten makes me feel like I’m climbing aboard a bandwagon. Full disclosure, I had to ask Trey, “What’s that word for when someone dives into a trend?” I had written out fad train, and I knew THAT couldn’t be right.
  • It’s a harsh awakening when you find that you’ll never be the weight you were in college. But, less harsh when you know that you were taking your ADD medication during college and sometimes forgetting to eat meals or drink water, and then sometimes passing out in your bedroom, causing you to slice your back open on an old, rickety, paint-splattered ladder that you salvaged from an abandoned antebellum home. SO. Deep down, you know that it was just a matter of time before you gained some weight, and now the time has come. This is the introduction I’m going with.

The year that I got married, I ate well, planned my meals, worked out regularly, and saw results from all of that hard work. It look a few months before I saw much of anything, but it happened, and I know that I can get there again. Because before this week, I was very unhappy with where I was in my wellness journey. I wanted to change everything, all at once, immediately, but didn’t know where to start. I was lifting weights and working out, but irregularly, and the smallest thing would completely throw me out of my routine. A week of rainstorms ended my afternoon cardio, a visit from my brother threw off my healthy eating, a long day at work meant that I didn’t go to the gym, all of which resulted in me feeling guilty. I would put myself down and dig myself a hole that felt impossible to crawl out of. I felt like no matter what I did, nothing was going to change. And, not a whole lot has. This isn’t a miracle story or anything of the sort. But here I am, four days into a challenge that I created for myself, and I feel good about it. My clothes still aren’t fitting quite the way I would like…but I have taken the first steps in a direction that I am choosing for myself, and even if I’m just four steps in…it’s better than standing still, and it’s better than one step, or two steps. I’m FOUR DAYS IN, and I haven’t given up. I haven’t given in. An artisanal chocolatier came into my work today and set up a sweet, little popup shop. I didn’t have any. Trey had beer this week, I did not. I went to Panera the other day with my coworkers, and didn’t even glance at that pastry cabinet. I’ve planned my meals, and I’ve read all the ingredient labels, I bought snacks for myself for when I needed a sweet pick-me-up, and I told all of the people that need to know so that I have a support system. I am doing what I need to do to make sure that I do this right, and I’m proud of myself. Do I miss Chick Fil A right now? Yes. Do I want go hang-gliding on a tortilla chip and land in a bowl of queso? Of course I do. Do I want to slam my face into warm, buttered bread? Absolutely.  But, I’m not. Those cravings are small at the moment because I have made great decisions for the last four days, and am excited for the good decisions that I will make tomorrow, on day FIVE. I didn’t go to the gym today, but I am going for a possible-run/fast-walk (I’m not going to lie and say that I’m going for a run, because I honestly don’t do much running) tomorrow, and then going to the gym when Trey gets off of work tomorrow night. But, I feel good about my choices today, and I am not going to put myself down for not going to the gym. Instead, I’m going to keep my head high and keep taking steps. My goal isn’t to be the weight I was in college, because that’s just a number. I want to be healthy, eat clean, and get in shape. Who knows how long this will take? But, I’m committing, and I’ve taken four steps more than I took four days ago.

If you’re still reading, you must really like me. I bet I really like you, too. So, here’s what I’m doing! This week, I cut out dairy and gluten. I love a good sandwich, and burgers make my world go ’round, but I know that I feel 30 lbs heavier after I eat bread. So, I wanted to cut out gluten and see what happened. I wanted to cut out dairy just because. Milk and bread go hand-in-hand, ya know.

My first day wasn’t eventful. I made Simple Mills’s chocolate muffins to get me through the chocolate cravings that I knew would come this week. P.S. All of those muffins were gone by the end of day two.

My second day was probably the least fun so far. I was extremely bloated and uncomfortable. I wore some of my tightest jeans, which didn’t help at all. I drank a lot of lemon water, and had a very spicy dinner to try and counteract the feeling of being so bloated that I thought I would float away like those balloons that Fiona blows up in that scene in Shrek? You know, the bullfrog balloon? No? Okay.

My third day was a little less uncomfortable. Not as bloated. I went to the gym.

Today…much less bloated. Migraine all day. No gym.

So, it feels even more official now that I’ve written it all down. If anyone is interested, I’ll share what I’m snacking on and more details on how it’s all going. If you’re looking into making a change to your health, you have to start somewhere. And something cool, it’s your life and you get to pick where you start.

Oh, and that bubbly beverage pictured above? It was gifted to me by a new, dear friend and I drank it in the bath tub and treated myself when I was feeling bloated and gross on day two. Go get yourself some and celebrate wherever you’re at in your wellness journey.


“Flowers are happy things.”


We went to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens today for the first time since we’ve moved back. It was always one of mine and Trey’s regular stops when we first began dating, and today we were able to share it with Jon Christian.


This fella and his Alabama hats. He was born in PA, but moved to AL in middle school and is an Alabamian through and through. If I were to do a little bit of closet inventory, I imagine that I would find five or six hats that are somehow related to Alabama. He was meant to be a southerner.


I handed my camera over to Jon every now and then to try to distract him from the heat, and I love the pictures that he captured.


I could live in these gardens.


These guys. Trey lets Jon give him all of the eskimo kisses, back scratches, nose rubs, and big squeezes that he wants, for as long as he wants. Trey is patient, kind, and understanding about what makes Jon tick, and he knows what to say to put my worries at ease. And, whenever I am nose deep in flowers, Trey and Jon can retreat to the shade together.


We didn’t make it to the koi ponds, which I’m sure Jon would have loved. But, we made sure to stop by the roses which are what I always associate with the beginning years of Trey and I. We went to these gardens so often, and walked through the roses all year round. When I knew that he was going to propose, and I was hunting for the perfect engagement ring, I was thrilled to  learn that the one I fell in love with was called a rose cut diamond. Of course it would be.


Some of my favorite quotations about gardening and flowers:

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. – Henri Matisse

The earth laughs in flowers. – Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Flowers grow out of dark moments. –  Corita Kent

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. – Margaret Atwood

It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the spring, who reaps a harvest in the autumn. – B.C. Forbes

Life Lately

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I’m pretty sure that we are 100% settled into our new home and our old city. There is still so much to do, but everything feels natural and comfortable now. We are used to our tiny kitchen, and we painted our bathroom which was a huge improvement. But, Trey loves his job and is so happy to be back with his friends again. Plus, proud of him, he just got another promotion. I love my job and my team, and even though making new, real friends can be so, so hard…I did it. And, it was so easy. I love when you find someone and just click immediately. Such a treat.

We have Jon Christian visiting us right now and we are so happy about it. He spends most of his time sitting in the floor in front of the TV with video games, which is a sight to see. He is 6’4, and somewhere over 230 lbs…so seeing him sitting in a heap on the floor, or sprawled out like a starfish is just…perfect. He is interfering with our diets and exercise in a major way, BUT WE ARE DOING PALEO FOR A WEEK AS SOON AS HE LEAVES!

I’ve been wanting to do Paleo since Trey did it months ago, and I am pumped. I love meat, vegetables, and fruit…so I’m hoping it won’t be too painful to commit 100% to this. I expect that the hardest things to do without will be coffee, alcohol, ice cream, and candy. I plan to blog my way through it…so we will see how it goes!

I am going to make an Etsy to sell some of my dearly loved clothes, art, and knickknacks. If you’d be interested in shopping it, message me or comment and I’ll be sure to send you the link when the site it up.

I painted for the first time in years yesterday, and it was more fun than I remembered it being. I tried my hand at impasto painting and loved it. I plan to do some large scale pieces soon, and who knows, maybe they’ll make their way to that Etsy that I mentioned. 😉

Well, I’m off to finish off a bottle of wine so that I won’t have to look at it during Paleo.

P.S. I’ve been watching the new Beauty and the Beast over and over, and just can’t get enough of Belle’s day dress, or anything else in the movie. It’s just perfect. Also, Wes Anderson’s new movie will knock by mismatched socks off, no doubt.

P.P.S. I’m ready for Trey’s family to move to Birmingham because I miss his little sister.

P.P.P.S. Today is National Best Friend Day, and I’m celebrating by thinking about Abbey and crossing my fingers that she will be close to be again one day soon.


Show and Tell

  1. I bought a new car! It’s beautiful, scary, shiny, and perfect for me. I want to sleep in it, live in it, and talk about it all the time – but I’m refraining from all of that.
  2. I want all of the dresses from Pyne & Smith Clothiers. I have one, and it’s all I want to wear. The next one I buy will be either solid white or black, so that it will be less memorable, making it possible to wear it much more frequently. I. LOVE. THESE. DRESSES. Thanks for treating me to my first one, Abbey!
  3. I’m currently obsessed with neroli. I love the earthy, light, sweet smell. Trey thinks that it smells like a hamster cage. Here are some neroli goodies that I might treat myself with one day: this candle, any of this from Le Labo, this night oil, this cleaner.
  4. I want to start dry brushing. I don’t know of anyone that does it, other than Gwyneth Paltrow. But, I imagine that it feels amazing, and if my lymphatic system benefits from it…sure. I’ll probably buy my brushes from here since the reviews are good, and the price is reasonable.
  5. I think that our next project in our  home is going to be sprucing up our bathroom. I plan to turn one wall into an accent wall, and Trey is going to have to do some handy dandy plaster work. Anyway, when everything is finished, I might put up some bathroom- related art like… this bobby pin print, this comb print, or some of Frédéric Forest’s incredible line art work.