Monday, October 17, 2016


Monday. You came a little too soon, but let's make the best of it, shall we? And since I've already done yoga, tried meditating for the first time, and am only on my second cup of coffee this morning, I'd say things aren't looking so bad.

The hubs was out at deer camp so the kids and I had a cozy, snuggling, at home weekend and it was great. Let's review:

 I went to a fall dessert swap. So many apples and I tried them all.

I joined a Dave Ramsey + Kon Mari facebook group (it's one of the few reasons I haven't given up facebook) and from a discussion on there, I was inspired to try out Rachel Cruze's clip idea for carrying cash and I liked it a lot. (For those of you that don't know, we've followed Dave Ramsey's advice with our money since Dylan was born. It works for us!)

 I preorded Food Freedom Forever, but my copy got delay. So I cancelled my amazon order and went to Barnes and Noble and physically picked it up instead. (Plus these two. Plus some books for the kids.)  I should have just done that in the first place. I think I need to cut back on online shopping...

When Daddy's away we have sleepovers and watch "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" together in the big bed.

FALL, in a photo.

Kon Mari inspired.

We got booed! It's the first time ever that we got booed before we booed someone, and the kids were thrilled.

Let's crush this week, guys!

Friday, October 14, 2016


Guys. I had Monday off and this still felt like a marathon of a week. What is going on? Has time stopped? Am I stuck in a version of Groundhog Day? If so, where is Bill Murray?

Maybe it's all the news that's getting me down. Because things have gotten crazy. Is that it? My brain is full of political noise and the Giants losing?

Let's look at some things that are happier then that shall we?

  • I recently reread The Virgin Suicides and it brought back all kinds of memories from when I first read it. So I fell down the rabbit hole of internet searches about the the story and the movie. I particularity love this Living In article about the design of the movie.

  • I'm reading Spark Joy and I love it. Of course. 

That's all I got this week. I hope your weekend is amazing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

NO BEAN CHILI (whole30, paleo, grain free)

Fall is in the air here on the East Coast! And fall means comfort food, like big bowl of chili. When I first started eating Whole 30, I was reluctant to try chili because to me, chili meant beans. But this no bean chili is so good! My family actually loves this chili more than any other one.

I originally posted this recipe on a Whole 30 recap post, but it's so good I wanted to share it again all on it's own. It's the perfect fall dinner and only takes about 30 mintues!

Whole30 No Bean Chili

2 lbs lean ground beef (grass fed if that's your thing) or ground turkey
1 large bell pepper, any color, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
2 cans mild Rotel 
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 cups water
1-2 cups of beef stock (make sure to read your lables) 
1/2 -1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder, depending on your preference
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
Avacado, cilantro (if desired)
In a large pot, brown the ground beef. Add the chopped green bell pepper and onion, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain off grease. Add Rotel, tomato paste, water, and spices, stir. Bring to a simmer, and cook about 10 minutes, Add 1 cup of beef stock, stir. Continue cooking for 20-30 minutes, adding more stock to reach your desired consistency. Adjust spices as desired. Serve topped with avocados and cilantro if that's your thing. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


I love three day weekends. Even when they're "celebrating" people who did not in fact "discover" America. We ignored that and had a super fall themed weekend.

On Saturday night we went to Byrne Farm Market for their Annual Jack O Lantern display. We went last year and it's so fun. They have hundreds of pumpkins carved and lit up. You can also buy fabulous pumpkins and gourds there. My kiddos love the goose necks. If you're in the area, you should definitely check out Byrne's!

Sunday started off rainy, but cleared up so we went apple picking at another farm, Johnson's Locust Hall. Ava has gone to this farm twice now on school field trips and has been asking us to go as a family for months. It was so worth it! The kids had a great time and we got some delicious, huge apples. I have to admit, I was cracking up a little-I grew up on a small farm and picking fruit was a chore for me growing up and now I was paying money to let my kids do it.

Sunflowers are my favorite.

And with our extra day off? Harry Potter.

Seriously Voldemort, don't even. Professor the Dowager* will destroy you and and all your hooligans.

I've been reading Spark Joy, the second Marie Kondo book and have been going through my clothes and folding them properly again-I have gotten out of the habit. I was pleased to find that there were no clothes that didn't "spark joy" in my closet though! I had the hubs go through his stuff and get rid of his unjoyful clothes as well. I also started using my bullet journal for tracking my KonMari Method cleaning-because I'm that person. I've done the clothes in our house and the papers, but I need to work through my miscellaneous and keepsake stuff still.

I like neutrals.

Finally, last night Dylan had a baseball game. A night game under the lights. Where he pitched. He's been playing first and short for the past two years, and just moved up to pitching, Neal and I had zero chill, guys, Like standing at the fence, clapping, and yelling positive things and closing our eyes tight because we were so nervous for him. And we so didn't need to be nervous, because he CRUSHED IT.

When he struck his first person out, I asked Neal, "So I shouldn't yell really loud 'THAT'S MY BABY!' right?! Because my heart is telling me do it, but my brain is saying that might be embarrassing for him and maybe I should, like, calm down."
He agreed with my brain. IT WAS HARD GUYS.

And THEN. The Giants won their game. It was a good day for baseball.

Hope you had a great weekend!

 *If you don't understand this reference, please go watch Downton Abbey and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows and then return.

Friday, October 7, 2016


There's been a lack of posts this week-my laptop has decided to stop recognizing my phone, and since I take 90% of the photos I use here on my phone, it's become an issue. I plan on putting my tech guy (aka my husband) on this problem this weekend.

Until then, let's be thankful that it's FRIDAY and check out some things that I've found:

  •  Love Warrior, Are you a woman? A mother? A wife? A teenager? A father? A husband? A human being? Then you should probably read this book. Book review is coming, but right now I am still so entrenched in how good it was, in all the words Glennon Doyle Melton wrote, that I have to take a moment and collect my thoughts before I can write anything about it other than READ IT.

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


It's fall, ya'll! That means mums, pumpkins, crisp air, and rainy afternoons around these parts. I love October-it's hard not too.

October also means it's time for a new round of B+ Goals, where we celebrate "done is better than perfect," But first, let's review September:

1. Focus on health.  A. I'm almost done with my Whole 30 and have been working out 5 days a week ALL MONTH.

2. Blog 3+ times a week. B+. I haven't missed a week, but I haven't managed to go three times a week every time. I'll keep trying in October!

3. Have a celebration Back to School Dinner. A. Check! This was an easy one though; it's a solid family tradition.

4. Read together in the evening. B+ We've managed too most nights, but still haven't finished The Penderwicks. Hopefully the library will let us renew it again!

5. Clear out all the fabric and etsy shop things from our closet. C. I started, but am no where near finished.

Onto October! I always feel like October is a solid get-things-done kind of month. We're pretty settled into our school/work routine, the holidays are far enough away not to stress about yet, the weather is mild. Here's what I got:

1. More yoga. I've been doing yoga for 15 years, but the past six months I've cut back a lot because I've been focusing on more cardio and weights. But my flexibility is suffering for it. Instead of doing the Tone it Up Fall Challenge like I was originally planning, I want to focus on doing more yoga, at least twice a week. (I use the Pocket Yoga App, which I LOVE.)

2. Read Food Freedom Forever. I'm running a book group on this new book from Melissa Hartwig on facebook - feel free to join, we'd love to have you: The Happy Healthy Book Club. I'm really looking forward to this one!

3. Figure out a better system for organizing all the school papers that come home with my children. Every. Single. Day. So many papers! I have to find a system.

4. Start planning Dylan's birthday. He's going to be TEN. It's going to be a big one and I want it to be a good one for him.

5. Clear out all the fabric and etsy shop things from our closet. Need to finish this one.

Hooray for fall and October!

Bonus Life Lesson: When in doubt, ask yourself, "What Would Anne Shirley Do?" and you won't go wrong.

Free printable from Kayla Aimee Writes: here

Friday, September 30, 2016


Happy Friday! Fall is out in full force here on the east coast; it's rainy, windy, damp, and getting dark earlier. Everyone's nose is sniffley. It's been a challenging week and we're ready for a slow weekend at home. Preferable with movies, blankets, tea and hot chocolate. Maybe a roasted chicken. We're ready for a weekend, guys.

This Friday, we're talking: morning routines, pumpkin pie flavor, and washing our face. Just your typical, random For the Love of Friday List.

  •  I love this series about people's morning routines!

  •  So, I've adored Nastia Liukin since the 2008 Olympics and this bag she designed looks amazing. It's going on the want list. The Question is: Black or Navy? I just can't decide.

  • I switched up my face washing routine. I've been using Murad products and I can see a  BIG difference in my skin. I use this cleaner and this moisturizer. Pricey, yes. But a little goes a long way.

  •  Do you ever read Self Magazine? You should. I gave them and their editor, Joyce Chang, a big shout out on Instagram this week for their use of Asian models-something you see literally no where in magazines. They are hands down the most diverse mainstream magazine on the market-with no apologies, no excuses, and no big deal. Healthy comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes. and not only do they feature all types of woman in their magazine, they put them on the covers too. 

Happy Friday!