Whole 30, 9 days in

For some dumb reason, the hubs and decided to do Whole 30. I think I thought it was a good idea and told the hubby we were doing it and he went along with it. We are currently at day 9. If you do not know about Whole 30 you can go to their website here and see what it is about. My take on Whole 30 is that you are eating ‘Whole’ foods. ‘Whole’ food is a little loosely interpreted depending on who you ask. You cannot eat dairy, sugar, fake sugars, processed foods (no nitrates), legumes (beans, peanuts, soy, lentils, peas), grains (including corn), or white potatoes (except in a recent version of the rules I believe that has changed). You can have meat, fish, seafood, vegetables, and fruit (only 2 servings a day).

We are going to starve! Well that’s what my husband thought in the beginning. Luckily, we have some friends who have done this before so they could help us. plus, there is this wonderful thing called Pinterest that has tons of recipes. for two weeks, we tried to eat the bad food in our house and kind of start eating meals that were Whole 30 approved. Then we finally jumped in and went Whole 30 full time.

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Day 1: We survived. It wasn’t so bad but the hubs asked for dessert after dinner. I had made ‘popsicles’ from strawberries and bananas. So, we ate them and then found out we weren’t supposed to. Something called ‘Sex with your pants on’. I don’t like this rule. Read the book, it’s in there. Plus, we didn’t know about the 2 serving of fruit a day and this was our like 5th. I hate black coffee so I have been drinking tea instead. we will see how that pans out.

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Day 2: someone give me chicken nuggets from McDonalds!! Ok, it wasn’t that terrible. But my brain was being mean. I heard the word donut on the radio and it was all I could think about a delicious donut. yum! even know it sounds tasty. one thing we had started a few weeks ago that I am glad we were doing was buying a rotisserie chicken from Sam’s, they are $5 and Sam’s sized salad mix. So, lunch was easy some chicken and salad and probably carrots or if there were some leftover veggies from the night before. This made lunch easy. The chickens probably have something bad in the seasoning but we took the skin off so they are ok, right?

Day 3: Pistachios are my friend. I wasn’t eating enough at lunch to make it to dinner. or I wasn’t eating enough fats to satisfy until then. ok I might have just bad hard-boiled eggs with hot sauce of lunch but really, I wasn’t so hungry at lunch time. For dinner, I made a sweet potato hash and it changed our lives. You can find the recipe I based it on here. Don’t add the beans. For a moment that hubs and felt like we could do this!! also, this is the day the headaches started.

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Day 4: I want pizza and a blizzard. What if I went to McDonalds? No one would know unless I told them. we got smart the night before and started making egg cups. Basically, line muffin tins with prosciutto, scramble 10 eggs, poor the eggs in the muffin tins, then add veggie of your choice. I add peppers and onions. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-23 minutes. easy! They are easy to make and I don’t have to make breakfast every morning now. I heat them up but the hubs just eats them cold (eww). With dinner, I made carrot ‘fries’, thought this might us feel better. Negative for me. They just tasted like cooked carrots, which I hate. Hubs liked them. he will take a carrot anyway he can take it.

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Day 5: I NEED A DRINK. just one sip of champagne and I will quit complaining I swear! This is also the first day we went out to eat. EEK! I ordered a plane grilled tuna steak and asked if they could put it on a salad no dressing. Well that would have worked out until the salad came with cheese. damn it. I scrapped all the cheese off I could. the tuna was good, but it made me a bit sad.

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Day 6: my parents were in town and went to IHOP without us for breakfast. IT’s ok. They probably don’t have anything we can eat. Besides I found Whole 30 bacon at Whole Foods. Bacon makes everything better. My parents were VERY hesitant about eating with us this weekend because they knew how restrictive our diet was. For lunch, we had broccoli slaw and chicken salad. For the chicken salad, I made my own mayo. If you never have before I will post about it soon. It is so easy and delicious. Added hard boiled eggs, dill pickles, salt and pepper. We ate it on leaves of radicchio and it was delicious!

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For dinner, I made Coconut lime chicken, here is the recipe. I did not put the arrowroot flour in and I recommend using coconut cream to make it thicker. It was pretty good. My dad loved it. He isn’t a foodie and rarely has an opinion if it is good or not but he kept talking about it. I added cauliflower rice to it. Also roasted beets and radishes. if you don’t like radishes, roast them. They have a totally different flavor. They are soo good! I also shredded Brussel sprouts, cooked them in bacon fat, added a little balsamic vinegar and bacon crumbles. They put in a warm over until the rest of dinner was done. This is one of my favorite.

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Day 7: The headaches are over. I feel pretty good. I made the sweet potato hash for my parents. They loved it, except mom who wouldn’t eat the sweet potatoes. I didn’t have sausage so I used ground beef. still pretty good. Can you believe Whole Foods does not have sausage that is Whole 30 compliant but Aldi does! For Lunch, I made a roast in the crockpot. Put potatoes in the bottom, then green beans (yes you can have green beans) the roast and then poured a jar of pepperoncini peppers on top. Lunch l was crazy good. The peppers make all the difference in this roast. IT’s not too spicy. Mom and dad went home satisfied with food for the weekend. We also had a pretty great time together. we had left over for dinner because I didn’t plan past lunch!

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Day 8: I don’t remember breakfast. isn’t that sad. I’m sure we had eggs. Gosh. For lunch, I had leftover coconut lime chicken. Then for dinner I made this pork chop and apples recipes. You can find it here. I didn’t think I would like it but I really did! so did the hubs. Tonight, we decided to clean out the freezer and fridge of food we can’t eat and put it in the fridge in the garage. The freezer still looks full but the fridge is empty. Not so many condiments are compliant. I think this will help us mentally though.

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Day 9: we are still surviving. Egg muffins for breakfast, chicken salad for lunch and I feel pretty good.

Overall: I think we are sleeping better. I sure feel better in the mornings when I wake up yet still not a morning person. we haven’t been too grumpy through this process. There was some complaining but I really thought it would be worse. we were told the sugar withdrawal would be so bad and I don’t think it was what everyone hyped it up to be. The headaches for me were bad but I also get migraines some, so they don’t even compare in pain. to my knowledge we haven’t slipped up any. I do still crave some champagne or a blizzard, maybe chicken nuggets. The hubs says none of that sounds good to him. We are buying a lot of groceries, maybe too much. Our neighbor yelled across the street at me this morning and told me she can tell I’m losing weight. It’s not about losing weight for me, it’s about how I feel and how things in my body are functioning. I’m not as swollen/bloated as I always am. Last year I feel and hurt my leg and that area has been swollen ever since and it has dramatically gone down.

I think we will make it the whole 30 days. I was skeptical until about day 7, but I think we can do it. While some of our friends think we are crazy and tease us a little; overall, they have been very supportive and are helping us out.

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Latex is not my friend

It’s hump day so enjoy this appropriately themed story from my life.

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A few years ago I found out that I was allergic to latex and yeah, I probably should’ve known years before but I didn’t know that the symptoms weren’t maybe normal. I found out while I was at the dentist getting a cavity filled and my cheeks swelled up real big following that and it stayed for a few days. I went back and found out it is just a contact allergy so I don’t think it’s going be too life-threatening. This made me think of all the things that are made of latex and how possibly I should’ve known all along that I’ve been allergic. As you can imagine it affects many things.

Sometimes, most of the time, I forget that I’m allergic to latex. A few years ago, for Fourth of July we are doing a thing for work and handing out balloons to kids. No one wanted to tie the balloons. They couldn’t or it hurt their fingers. Blah blah, so I said I would do it. I get to tying balloons and after about the 8000 balloon that I’ve tied my fingers burst open and start bleeding and I’m like what the hell is going on, why are you bleeding? I look at the bag of balloons and remember or realize/read that they are made out of latex. Of course, I don’t think about it. I forget about it all the time. Everytime I need a Band-Aid, I go put one on and it gets red and swollen. I’m like, oh yeah, fuck, that’s made out of latex.

Several years ago, I got a birth-control arm implant and after three years I had it replaced with another one. During that time we never had to use any kind of protection while getting our swerve on. (Another time we will talk more about birth control and what I used, then why I stopped) Last summer, I had my birth control taken out and my husband was not quite ready to have sex trophies. Well, he can’t buy regular latex condoms because I have a latex allergy. I told my husband that when I got my birth control removed it would be his responsibility for baby prevention if that’s not what he wanted in his life. A friend told us about sheep intestine condoms and K goes off to buy them. They are pretty expensive, so we try them out once, fine they are different. OK, whatever. Better than itchy, swollen lady parts.

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Apparently, one use makes you a pro. They are a very different texture and go on a bit differently. K thought he was a pro. The condom disappears. Not on the bed, the floor, nowhere we can see. So it must be in my vajayjay. We start googling on how to get it out of my vagina. I do all kinds of ridiculous things I won’t tell you about to try to get it out. I’m not too ridiculous, I didn’t stick some tongs up there try to pull out or anything like. I text my friend, Pocahontas. If someone is going to have something she is going have it so. I text her and I’m like ‘hey, do you have a speculum?’ She doesn’t so I explain the situation to her. She told me I have to go the doctor and I’m like really can I just wait because this is a Saturday morning, a few days before the 4th of July. She convinces me I have to do something about it today!

I go to the walk in clinic. When I get back to the room I tell the nurse what is going on and the lady burst out laughing and said yeah we don’t have the stuff here to help you so she suggest a different walking clinic. Of course, they weren’t open so I call my gynecologist office and leave a message with the answering service. When they call me back little bit later and I tell her what happened. She goes,’ well, honey just reach your hand up there and pull it out. I said, ‘well, honey I tried’. She suggested going to a walk in clinic I said I’ve been to the walking clinic they laughed and said they could not help me. ‘You’re going to have to go emergency room. Don’t wait; you could get an infection and blah blah blah blah.’

Fine. We are supposed to go to a friend’s house for a pool party so I told K to go on ahead and I’m going to go to emergency room and then I’ll meet them there. Just a few months before we were at the emergency room, for like 12 hours, so I decide to head to a different town to a little bit smaller hospital. It only took two or three hours to get called back. I told them, thankfully women, what happened. No laughing, they go in there and pull it out. I asked if I could have gotten it out and they said most likely not. It was really far up there. I also asked if I could keep it, they didn’t find that very funny.

So that’s the story of how we lost a condom in my vagina. Now after that, of course, Pocahontas ordered some plastic disposable speculums. We are prepared if it were to ever happen again. Thankfully, it has not but these are the things that happen in your life when you have a latex allergy.

Disclaimer: I voiced this post and emailed it to myself and then edited it. Worst idea ever! It took forever to fix my redneckness. It did show my how much I use the word, so.

Lots of Bubbles

For a while I have been a La Croix addict. If you look long enough on the internet you will see that La Croix has somewhat of a cult following. People who love it are addicted and people who aren’t hate it. Club soda and seltzer water are a shocking taste for some at first. I’ve heard its dry, taste like aspirin, and is just down right terrible. But like beer, fizzy water is an acquired taste for some. Let me clarify that I exclude tonic from this, no tonic for me!

I love it for many reasons. It makes a great soda replacement, for me. I like soda not because they are sweet but because of the carbonation. I am addicted to carbonation. Fizzy water provides the carbonation without all the other crap. I feel less guilty about drinking adult beverages with fizzy water because it dilutes it some, doesn’t have all the sugar and calories of soda, and adds nice fizz from the carbonation. Fizzy water also comes in wonderful flavors.

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La Croix has Pure (plain), lemon, lime, orange, berry (haven’t had it), CranRaspberry, pamplemousse (grapefruit), peach-pear, apricot, coconut, passionfruit, mango(yuck), tangerine, Cerise Limon (Cherry Lime), pomme baya (apple cranberry), pina fraise (Pineapple Strawberry), melon, kiwi sandia (kiwi watermelon), mure pepino (Blackberry Cucumber, my favorite), and Ni cola (haven’t had it).

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Then the neighbors introduced us to Target brand, Simply Balanced, sparkling water. It is just as delicious or maybe more so at this point because it’s new to the taste buds. It has some different flavors including cucumber mint, ginger peach, citrus, black cherry, tropical cherry, raspberry blackberry, watermelon, lemon, grapefruit, and lime. So far the ginger peach is my favorite but I haven’t tried them all!

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I like that they come in the tall skinny cans. Some of the La Croix flavors do as well. Simply Balanced is quite a bit cheaper than the name brand but that is significant for us considering how much we drink it. I’m not a big shopper at target for food, so I’m going to start keeping an eye on it to see how they go on sale or if they do. We are in such a habit of watching for La Croix to go on sale and majorly stocking up. Kroger usually always has it on sale but Whole Foods seems to give the best deals when it does go on sale.

Do you like fizzy water? What do you drink? Or tell me why you hate it? But do me a favor and give it another try!

Ginger Skin

This last Saturday some friends and I had a yard sale. It rained and rained most of the morning yet we were so busy. The more it rained the more people stopped and looked under tarps for potential treasures. As it turned to afternoon, the sun came out and the crowds slowed. It was the weirdest thing. It was mostly overcast after the rain but the sun did come out for a little bit. A few hours after the yard sale I noticed I got some sun and then I realized I was a lobster! Holy crap I was red. There is no way there was that much sun to get that burnt. I brought sunscreen with me but I never put it on. I just didn’t think it got that sunny.

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I usually burn pretty easily. My mother has wonderful skin. Olive skinned, she is over 60 and has almost no wrinkles, tans so well and almost never burns. My dad on the other hand, comes from a family of gingers. While he doesn’t have much red hair he still has the skin of a ginger and I inherited it. I think of looking at the sun and I burn. I hold a tan for about a week and then I am pale like a vampire. Ok that might a bit of an exaggeration but I don’t hold color well. Two weeks ago I was so careful, put on sunscreen 70 SPF and still got burnt a little.

So how do you treat sunburn? Over the years I have tried nearly everything. This go around I am using coconut oil. There’s nothing like feeling super greasy for a few hours to make the sunburn feel better. I do think it has helped with the pain and the heat. It does make it look worse. The oil makes it look a bit darker.

Several people swear but using vinegar or specifically apple cider vinegar. They say to use a wet wash cloth, put some vinegar on it and let it sit on the skin for a few minutes. I tried it once last summer and I don’t think it helped. The pain was still there, the heat was there, and I didn’t notice that it healed any faster.

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There is always the green or crazy colored aloe gels out there. Some keep them in the fridge and tend to feel cooling when you put them on the skin. Years ago I heard that those types of gels create a barrier over the skin that traps in the heat in. This can cause more damage in the end. Who knows? But I try to avoid using these gels. They are so full of chemicals; there is no telling what you are putting on your skin. Ok yes I know it tells you on the container but WTF are in those things?

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Many times I just use lotion to help heal sunburn. It is soothing and helps replenish the skin. Find a lotion with vitamin E and C in it. You should always be moisturizing your skin anyway. I’ve thought of just breaking off some of my aloe plant and using that. Does it work? How do you treat sunburn?

Art of Smoothies

Sorry to post two ‘health’ posts back to back. I didn’t mean to, well, I planned this, just didn’t click in my brain!

Continuing on the quest for better health, I decided to take a baby step into adding more green leafy vegetables and fruits into our diet. Can you take a guess what I did? Smoothies! When else do you combine green leafy vegetables and fruits? Sure, there are a ton of places you can go and buy smoothies and the grocery stories have a wide variety too. But nothing beats making a smoothie still half asleep first thing in the morning! Hearing that blender will wake you right up!

I have read a million didn’t recipes on what to put in your smoothies and nothing made me salivate. So I decided to take a stroll through my favorite grocery store, Aldi, and see what inspired me. I gathered up ingredients and have been using them the last few weeks.

Here is my recipe:

1 Banana

Scoop of milled flax seed

Spoonful of Cashew Butter

A few chunks of Frozen fruit

Almond milk – vanilla I count to 4 while pouring

Handful of greens mix (Spinach, Chards, and Kale)

Now these measurements are exact. Don’t deviate.

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Put them all in the blender, nothing fancy about my blender, and hit the smoothie button. I tend to over blend because weird textures make me gag. It needs to be nice and smooth.

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Here are some more tips and tricks I use:

Organic bananas have been .59/lb at Aldi the last few weeks. So, I have been over buying and putting them in the freezer. Tips for freezing bananas: Peel the bananas, cut into chunks, lay them out on a cookie sheet, and freeze for a couple hours. Then put them in a freezer safe bag and put in the freezer. Easy! No, the bananas won’t turn black, that’s why you peel them. Laying them on a cookie sheet to freeze first prevents them from sticking to each other with you bag them. When you use frozen bananas instead of fresh it does make the smoothies much thicker. I don’t mind but for my husband’s smoothies I add water to thin it out.

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I have used whole milk and almond milk. I imagine you can use just about anything. I did learn real fast not to use unsweetened vanilla almond milk. One day I used unsweetened and it was a major failure. Even putting coconut sugar in it didn’t really help.

Use whatever frozen fruit you want. If you use a lighter color fruit, be prepared for what color the final product will be. We tend to use blueberries and strawberries. It gives a better color after it is all blended together.

You will want to drink this mixture pretty quick. It gets rank if you let it get warm. Be sure to rinse out your glass when you are done, especially if the glass is going to be sitting at your desk or in your car all day. It gets a strong odor to it and it is hard to clean off once dry.

Really, the art of a smoothie is up to you. You need some liquid and the rest is about taste and what you want to include in there.

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Do you make smoothies? What do you put in them? I need to branch out more and try some new things! Also, do you drink them in the morning? or later as a snack? Tell me more.

 

Clean Beauty Revolution

***Now guys, before you run away, there is a girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, cousin, sibling, or friend in your life who could benefit from this information

Like most people I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Now while I am not quite ready to give up my 20 piece chicken mcnuggets or run a marathon every weekend, I am willing to make an effort to remove some chemicals from the products that I use. Baby steps. Do things in moderation.

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I began my journey on Pinterest and woke up 2 days later having pinned a whole board on why we needed an alpaca farm and delusions of crafts and recipes that I would never look at again. Luckily for me I have a crazy pretentious hippy friend, that we will call Pocahontas. Her and her family live a pretty chemical free life and strive to make it work without going crazyish. A little while ago we discussed makeup and the chemicals and processes that go into them. The mission begins. I began looking up many brands, read the list of ingredients on so called ‘natural’ makeup brands, and decided what my standards were.

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The first company I got samples from was Vapour Beauty. I got a blush stain, hand cream, foundation, eye shadow, and a lipstick. They were OK. They didn’t have the staying power I was used to and the hand cream just didn’t mess well with my skin.

Then Pocahontas tells me about a brand she has found called Au Naturale. Au Naturale Cosmetics offers organic, non-toxic, and cruelty-free makeup free of parabens, nano-particles, carmine, gluten and sulfates. I ordered samples and waited. The first day I tried them I was hooked. I got a few samples of shades of foundation to match my color and then ordered the full sizes. I use the stick foundation, translucent powder, white eye shadow, lip gloss, and blush. The packaging is black and white, my fav, and super clean. They included a hand written thank you note every time. I once ordered the powered from amazon and it came with a note of who packed the product. They don’t skimp on the containers or their style.

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Big Side note: I write all this, Au Naturale has rebranded and it launches TODAY! The good news was over the weekend all their stuff was half off, so now I have foundation to last me a really long time.

Foundation: It has a nice sleek silver container. I first opened it and was concerned with how much product was there but it lasted me 4 months and I wear makeup every day. I paint my stick on like wartime paint and blend it out with my beauty sponge. When you run out of stick there is still quite a bit left in the tube that you can scrape out.

Powder: It is very fine, comes out well, and has great coverage. I use a big brush to apply and bake it on in some places.

Blush –This blush is pigment rich. My color is so close to NARS orgasm, which has been my go to blush for years. A little goes a long way. I have found that it comes out of the holes super easy and it really gathers at the top of the container. Be careful not to tip it over. This may last me 4 years.

White cream eye shadow: I have a confession. I have not gone all natural and clean with my makeup. One thing I am not willing to give up yet is my Covergirl TruNaked eye shadow kits. I swear by these eye shadow palettes. Want a glamour eye? BAM! Just a little effort and you will love it. So I used the white as a base/primer. I convince myself it stops the bad stuff from getting in my skin right? Don’t answer that. It stays in place and helps enhance the colors of the eyeshadow.

Lip gloss: Remember this is a gloss not an stay on lipstick. That’s what I had to tell myself in the beginning. I had a hard time because I came off using Kat Von D Loletta II which is amazing but not good for you. Again, lots of pigment in this and it stays on really well. Even after it is all over my coffee, right hand, and ruler at my desk, it is still on.

I need to try more Au Naturale products and make the switch because I am so happy with the ones I have. Also, they are a woman owned business and advocates of the clean beauty revolution. Check out their Insta for more info on them and their efforts for laws and regulations on the safety of makeup.

Okay let’s move on. I still use my drugstore eyeliner. It’s been with me since high school. Not the same one but the type. I love just have a deep love for it. I have tried many liquid liners and this is the one for me.

Also, I use Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara. Tarte is a leader in healthy, eco-chic beauty offering cruelty free cosmetics. They are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances, and gluten.  I do love this mascara. It often goes on sale for $10 and it is truly wonderful. Another Pocahontas find. I need to try more of their products!

What natural makeup have you tried or do you recommend?

Another time we will talk about natural beauty products, deodorant, ect. There is a lot to learn. It is time to change our ways and thinking.

For more information check out Safecosmetics.org

Trusting the Magic of Beginnings

Hello folks! Friends, Family, Strangers, and myself; well, probably myself reading this over and over again. Welcome to the struggle bus. This is going to be a shit show.

Who am I? Well, I’m not sure, that’s part of the reason why I have started this blog. I’ve been told I have an old soul, I’m a little loud, and once someone said I was classy, how rude! I am by no means an expert on anything just a jack of all trades. You too can be like me! And it’s easy to get there! Just google, add some bullshit and luck, and speak honestly from experience.

Why should you keep reading? Boredom, loneliness, seeking a sense of greater purpose in the world? This will not be a lifesaving tool that you need to read every day to survive but I hope it fills a purpose that Facebook cannot. I plan on sharing my vast knowledge on little insignificant things and sharing semi hilarious stories from the bubble I live in. Or I may abandon this in two weeks and your live will move on with a giant void of where this blog used to be.

What do you want to read about? If I have no knowledge on it, I can google it and put something together for your enjoyment. Please engage in what you are reading. But if you start the bullshit, bullying, or belligerent rants, I will bury you.

So, how’s your mom and ‘em? That’s great, now back to me. Isn’t that why people write blogs anyway?

farm house weddingMy amazing husband, K, and I have been married for 7 years. One day, if I don’t abandon this blog, I’ll tell you more about our love story. We have three beautiful children, Elwood (wire-haired dachshund), Satchmo (miniature dachshund), and my first child Frankie (Turkish Van Cat).

I love to craft, binging on Netflix, cook my mom’s recipes, drink in the cart while my husband golfs, Snapchat, google the things we question in conversation, and spend time with my friends.  I am a foodie, a real foodie not just someone who takes pretty pictures and says they like food. We will talk more on this later. I love red wine and gin. If you see me drinking Jack Daniels watch out, that’s not a good sign. I love UK Basketball, GO CATS!!! Don’t call me a millennial or Bethany, that’s not my name. I’m not simple, but I love this life.

My goal is to post one post a day M-F. Here is my schedule for the first week. Monday – Chemicals, Tuesday – Health, Wednesday – Food, Thursday – Dollar Tree, and Friday – Netflix.  Sound interesting? I’m excited about it but I also picked the topics so there is that. Do you get my sense of humor? Run away if you do! Stay if you’re curious how this shit show will unfold!

Thanks for reading! Check me out on Instagram: lilyflagglife

And suddenly you know- It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.