changing it up with Whole30®...

Veg cutting board

I have experimented with a handful of eating "programs" over the last few years. I've done vegan challenges, raw challenges, no-alcohol challenges, and even (believe it or not), a no-coffee challenge. I find that challenges are the best way to mix things up for me, and to keep me out of wacky thinking when it comes to food. For example...I came into August counting macros, and instead ended up somewhat obsessed with numbers instead of real food (and consuming WAY TOO MUCH protein powder as a result). I think macros (& protein) are SUPER important...the counting of them just makes me a little/lot nutty. I also had a recent discussion with my naturopath about food intolerances. Austin has removed dairy from his diet due to food intolerance test results, and Dan has a short list of foods that he avoids for the same reason (that was not a short joke, babe). 

I had heard about the Whole30® a few times before...likely through social media. To be honest, my first impression of the program was that it was a diet and that it was unnecessarily restrictive (and thus unsustainable). I also knew that it resembled Paleo eating, and thought that it wouldn't "work" for me b/c I don't eat meat. 

I was wrong on almost all accounts  (only "right" about it resembling Paleo eating). When it popped back up on my radar recently, I decided to actually read about the program. Y'know, instead of assuming that I knew all about it from an Instagram or two. 

Rather than explaining the program to you, please click here to read the official information. The website offers the program, and tons of resources, for FREE. 

I started my Whole30® yesterday. A few co-workers (+ Dan's mom!) will join me next week. I am committed to being in integrity for 30 dairy, no added sugars (of any kind), no grains, no legumes, no alcohol, no "faked foods" made with approved ingredients. I don't eat meat, but I do eat seafood, so I'll focus on fish & eggs for protein. 

I've gotten some interesting reactions (resistance) from folks when I've talked about program. Lots of "but I can't give up _____!" Yes, you probably can. Lots of reactions to no alcohol. Uhm, if you can't give up alcohol for 30 days, you might want to find a meeting. Lots of "but I really like bread/cheese/wine/ice cream." Yeah, me too! And, the standard disclaimer...if you have some medical issue/medication that might be impacted by a program like this, please just talk your doctor. Or better yet, a naturopath. 

Thoughts on day two of the program (still totally a beginner!)....

  • I like ghee. Since dairy is not allowed, butter is out...but ghee (clarified butter) is A-ok. I buy mine at Trader Joe's.
  • Don't believe everything you read on the internet. Some people haven't really read the program in full. Some people have, and just ignore parts of it. Some people think that 2 florets of broccoli make a serving. Sigh.
  • The internet IS a good source of ideas. I'm looking to Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs for inspiration...but I'm still fact checking back to the main site (and the Whole30® book).
  • I am not doing this to lose weight. It's possible that I will, and that's cool. I'm really doing this for the elimination aspect. Particularly heading into fall/winter/SAD season. I should have blood tests results back in the next week or so, and I'm really curious to see what food intolerances pop up.
  • Prep is key. All the chopping of vegetables takes time. I'm grateful that Dan is doing the bulk of it for me. Love that guy. I also splurged a little on things like mini-guacamole cups from Costco, just to make prep a bit easier.

So, now you know what I'm up to for the next 30 days! I blew it on that whole "blog 3x per week" thing, but I do promise that I'll pop back here to let you know how it's going. For reals. 

Oh, and this paper-loving girl was THRILLED to discover The Paleo Pep-talk after sweet Chelsea commented on one of my Instagrams. I love the idea of these mini-pep-talks, and have not only signed up for the FREE newsletter, but also ordered the cards (use code WHOLE30 to save 20%). #paleopeptalk  (ps. those aren't affiliate links...I just think that what's she's doing is rad.)

fab finds : CORA


Even though I've been a bit neglectful of this blog in the past year, I still get the occasional product review request. To be honest, I turn down most. So when this opportunity came along, I was poised to say "no, thank you!"...and then I read more about the company & the product, and changed my mind. Which is why I'm writing about tampons. Didn't expect that, did ya?

Cora Organic Tampon and Box - Lifestyle

Here's what got my attention - 1. I dig subscription services (especially in the winter) 2. I admire companies who are changing up stale categories and 3. I'm a sucker for cool packaging. CORA delivers on all three.

CORA is a modern method for managing your period. The co-founder, Molly Hayward says, "I created Cora to modernize women's periods. We offer organic tampons, chic accessories, convenient delivery, AND we donate period products to girls in need for every box sold. Cora represents today’s empowered and conscious woman.

Cora Stowaways - Lifestyle

I love that CORA went modern & adult with their packaging. It's actually pretty...not that neon-color, look at what I'm pulling out of my purse! nonsense. It's the little things that make a difference to me (like using paper tubes as "stowaways"...brilliant!).

Cora Organic Tampons Packaging - Lifestyle

CORA's cause is super cool - read about it here. There are causes out there to provide food, water, soap, shoes, glasses...I honestly hadn't thought about the challenges for girls/women. 

The team at CORA is offering Figuring Out 40 readers a $5 discount off their first order - just enter code CORA5KATRINA at checkout. And be sure to check out CORA on social media - @corawomen #fearlessperiod 

**I received these products free of charge from CORA. Opinions, and adoration, are my own. I was not compensated for this post.**

you're my favorite : july/august 2016

Berry picking

Revisiting the "you're my favorite" prompt (my last post was a full year ago!) today! A few things that are my favorite right now/this summer/subject to change...

Travel. Still & always. Strangely, I don't have any flights booked this month, although I do have some local-ish travel planned. Starting to book fall travel, and very much looking forward to winter travel this year. We just booked an anniversary trip (wrapped in a work trip) for Sept - any recommendations for a fun dinner in DC?

Mad River DistillersQuickly became a favorite after stopping at their Burlington tasting room. We regularly have one of their spirits in our bar cabinet - currently, it's Maple Cask Rum. I like to sip it neat at night when Dan is drinking his way-too-smokey Scotch. 

State of our Union meetings. To be fair, we've only had one...well, one & 1/2. Inspired by the weekly meeting suggestion in this article, Dan & I have scheduled check-ins about life, love, and what we're creating this time around. We recognize that life can be messier when you're in your 40s AND combining households AND dealing with other households. Here's to thriving rather than surviving.

ClairsonicHere's the thing...I have good skin. Pale, freckled, and slightly wrinkled...but good skin. So I didn't really think that I "needed" a Clairsonic. I had the opportunity to pick one up last month...and I love it

My standing desk. Have we talked about this before? I got a standing desk at work many months ago, and it's the best. I really never lower it. I'm in enough meetings throughout the day that I do give my back/feet a rest. 

Cool mornings & warm days. This morning had just the slightest amount of chill to the air...enough for each of us to grab a flannel/sweatshirt as we sipped our coffee on the deck. 

Captain Fantastic. What a great movie!

What's on YOUR favorites list right now?


las vegas : july 2016


I had a trade show to attend in Vegas last month, and Dan came along for the adventure!


I'm super grateful that he's always ready & willing to explore, experience, & enjoy. 


Dan's business mentor, Nick, and his girlfriend Kathy joined us for a few days. Seeing The Beatles: Love was amazing. So great to share the experience with awesome friends.


I wouldn't say that the food in Vegas is stellar, but breakfast at Giada was definitely a fave.


We got some time off the strip & checked out Freemont Street & the Container Park. Very cool.


I don't want to get all political, but...I would suggest that he's the right guy for the job


hello august 2016

Our four

It's August. Already. Huh??

hello four. For the first time in 2 years, we had all 4 kids under the same roof for a brief moment. It's really fun to watch the Littles & Bigs interact. 

hello fleeting days. Hope leaves this week. Austin will leave at the end of the month. Our time with the Littles shifts when McCartney starts kindergarten at the end of the month. Everything feels fleeting & too fast

hello a better version of me. The gym. Regimented eating. Doing the work. Real talk - negative self-talk & body shame are headlining right now. Even when I know better, it's not easy to do better.

hello reading. I've checked several titles off my Summer Reading list. I've added a title or two. 

hello blogging. I'm challenging myself to blog at least 3x per week this month. 

hello movies. Looking forward to seeing Bad Moms, Captain Fantastic, and maybe Jason Bourne this month. 

What are you saying hello to this month? 

hello july 2016


It's summertime...and I'm hoping that the living will start to be easy. While I wait, here's some hellos...

hello travel. Always. This month, it's NYC (biz) and Vegas (biz, and Dan is joining me). 

hello Iris. Dan's Mom arrives tomorrow, and I am so excited. I have several mother-in-laws, and I am fortunate that they all add something to my life. Iris? She adds so much love & joy. I am so excited to share our new home with her.

hello Barb & Kat's Excellent Adventures. Barb is coming to visit! Barb is coming to visit! Barb is coming to visit!

hello knowing that things are what they are...and are not what they are not. 

hello OITNB. Dan was out of town for a week, so I finished off the 4th season of Orange is the New Black. The first half was slow, but the second half made up for it. Like woah.

hello indoor green.  After buying The New Bohemians: Cool & Collected Homes, and following @theJungalow on IG, I want all the houseplants. Dan reminds me that watering falls to him when I travel...but still. 

hello summer fridays. For the first time in forever, my company is offering summer Fridays. It doesn't really appy to me b/c I work a flexible schedule already (sooo grateful), but I am super-excited for my co-workers to have the option to arrange their workweek to allow for 1/2 day Fridays.

hello Charming Charlie. Loving the affordable costume jewelry. Stopping pretty much every time I'm in NYC.

hello beach days. We sat on the beach today under overcast skies, while the Littles splashed in the water. It was excellent. Here's to more days in our own town.

What are you saying hello to this month?

summer reading : 2016

2016 summer reading

Those who know me well may gasp at this reading list, what with all the fiction. It honestly wasn't a conscious choice at first, but rather a reflection of the vibe of life right now. If I had to sum it up, I'd say it's less the frantic pace of improve, learn, grow and more a cadence of be present, enjoy, savor.

I culled these choices from a variety of places - my own Good Reads list, Modern Mrs. Darcy Kindle deals & summer reading guide, and my Net Galley queue. 

Up from the Blue | Life from Scratch | Euphoria | Modern Lovers | The Girls | It Was Me All Along | The Year We Turned Forty | The Universe Has Your Back

What are you reading this summer?

hello june 2016

image from's somehow June. 

hello travel & travel planning. It's a constant, and that's good. Currently heading to Los Angeles for few days - a mix of business & pleasure. NYC soon, Vegas in a few weeks. We even starting to book end-of-year travel that involves sunshine & drinks with little umbrellas. #winning

hello pneumonia. Not so good. I stopped in at Urgent Care on my way to work last week, suspecting that I might have strep throat. Turns out, I have pneumonia. I finished the prescribed round of antibiotics, and now I'm on to my preferred "brand" of medicine - acupuncture, chinese herbs, and supplements. 

hello summer reading. I picked up a Kindle Paperwhite recently, to make reading a bit more travel-friendly. I'm scouring all the summer reading lists from my favorite blogs, and putting together a pared-down list of my own. 

hello mornings on the deck. It's finally warm enough to enjoy our coffee on the deck. Hooray!! We get some funny comments from neighbors about our "leisurely" start to the day. We're grateful that we both have somewhat flexible schedules. 

hello meyer lemon tree. I'm fascinated by the prospect of growing lemons indoors. Our little meyer lemon tree should arrive in a few days. It will enjoy the summer outside, and the winter next to our big windows. 

hello creating a home together. We're making progress toward our space feeling like our space rather than his & her space. It feels good.

hello hannibal. We're making our way through the series on Amazon, and omg...there are some nights that I won't walk to the bedroom w/o Dan. So many psycho stories! 

what are you saying hello to this month?


florida : may 2016

After Disney, we headed to The Villages to spend the week with Dan's Mom. It was an easy week of pool time, golf cart adventures, and catching up. Perfect.

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I have a thing for pineapple palms. We spent one morning on the golf cart finding our favorites. Mackie is an excellent palm spotter.


We also spotted this crazy specimen. 


And a bird for my brother!

_MG_0842a _MG_0855a

We spent several mornings at the pool. Wilder has turned into quite the fish.


He is not a fan of the words "it's time to go!".

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This girl is always on the lookout for geckos. 


This guy is a little too impatient for geckos. 


Dan & I went out on the town a couple of nights. He's becoming well-known in karaoke bars in the Villages.


It was a wonderful week filled with love & laughter. xoxo


the more of less : joshua becker

ThemoreoflessDan and I don't live a completely minimalist lifestyle, but we do make a concerted effort to have less stuff. When we moved from a 2 bedroom apartment to a 4 bedroom house, we promised each other that we wouldn't fill every space. We're thoughtful about what we buy, and prioritize the experience of living over the materialism of living.

I've been a fan of Joshua Becker for quite a while...we actually met at a book signing (for another author) several years ago. I have always found his writing to be honest & approachable,and this book is consistent with his blog voice. I will admit that I don't recall as many religious references on the blog...but I do appreciate that Joshua is upfront about their inclusion in the book. This is a handy refresh of what minimalism is (and can be) about....

Check out Joshua's blog here, and his book here

And in the spirit of having less stuff, leave a comment if you'd like me to pass this book on to you! First come, first mailed. :)

I received this book through the Blogging for Books program. I was not compensated for this review, and all opinions expressed are my own.