fall weekending.

It was a rainy, chilly weekend here...so we focused on indoor fun. 

Library Collage

We love the library! We came home with about a dozen books. Standouts - Walter the Farting Dog, and The Three Little Tamales. 

Cupcakes Collage

There is a cupcake shop just across the street from the library, so we've established a tradition/reward for positive behavior. If we use our inside voices at the library, and are mindful of our actions...we get mini-cupcakes! And when it is chilly & rainy, we get hot chocolate & hot apple cider, too.

We did a lot of Halloween decorating, a little donut making, and some (reluctant) room cleaning before wrapping up the Littles portion of the weekend. Time always flies too quickly! 

Peter Mulvey

Dan & I closed out the weekend with a FABULOUS house concert hosted by one of our neighbors. If you haven't heard of Peter Mulvey before (confession...I hadn't)...I highly recommend that you look him up. Super talented.

Hope your weekend was awesome!

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 days...no 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.)

may love prevail.

Coffee cup

I spent most of last week in San Francisco - one of my most favorite cities. I ate delicious food. I drank fabulous coffee (the Gibraltar is my new favorite thing). I walked soooo much (20K steps on Thursday!). I met with clients who are also friends. I spent time with a friend who I've known since high school. It was a good trip

I returned home on Friday evening, and Dan informed me that he needs a break from our relationship. 

It was that sudden, and that unexpected. And yet...thanks to a super high intuition radar...I was not surprised. He was strangely absent from connection during my trip. Something is brewing, I thought.

I cried. I asked all of the questions - why? how could you? when did you stop loving me? I called/texted his Mom (sorry, Iris). I called/texted my besties, my tribe. I cried some more. I talked with my Aunt Betty. I talked with more friends. I drank wine. I watched Grey's Anatomy. And....I cried

When Dan and I first started dating, I told him that I wanted to "live and love in the light." It's a Scandal reference, and it was important to me. I wanted to be public about this relationship. I wanted to share it with so many of the people who have been there for my journey. I made the decision, early on, that I would celebrate this relationship publicly, and deal with the fall-out if I needed to. 

On Saturday, when the reality set in, I realized that I needed to deal with the fall-out. It's a little ridiculous. He shut off my access to his Google Calendar. I changed my FB relationship setting to "it's complicated" & deleted my profile pic. He changed his setting to single. That stung. I followed suit, and added a FB status "announcement." Love in the age of social media takes a lot of maintenance. 

Loving in public means leaving in public. 

I am not going to tell you his story, b/c it is not mine to tell. I am going to tell you my story. 

Seven & a half months ago, I fell for a boy with a fresh tattoo who was wearing a blue gingham shirt. The moment that I laid eyes on him, I thought "oh boy, I'm in trouble."  Love at first sight. I fell, hard. We dated. We met each other's exes. We met each other's kids. We traveled. I met his family. We shared hopes & dreams, calendars & commitments. We each stashed a toothbrush at the other's house. 

And all along, people said "You look sooo happy!" and "You're happier than I've ever seen you." 

They weren't wrong. Dan and I had soooo much fun. We laughed. We celebrated life. We loved. And.....we knew that life isn't easy, and love isn't perfect. Please know this:  Dan is an amazing guy. He has his issues, his baggage (don't we all?)...and he needs space to deal with that. I am still his #biggestfan. So. I had a choice. I could choose to fight that. To rage. Or I could surrender. I could honor the request for space, and do my best to support him on a journey that I know all too well. 

I don't think that my choice will surprise you. And so, this is what I want you to know...

We did not "break up"...b/c we are not broken. Yes, I am heartbroken...but he also broke my heart open in a way that it hadn't been in years. He showed me what it's like to be so very happy. I love every single one of you who has told me "it's his loss!"....and you're right, it is. But it's also mine. We are both #brilliantsexy - a hashtag that we agreed upon early in our relationship that means that we are equally awesome. Dan has asked for what he needs, and I have chosen to say 'yes' with grace & kindness (most of the time). In meditation this morning, I asked for love & light to surround him. I will continue to ask for that

I randomly chose a passage from A Year of Miracles as I sat, and of course, it was perfect...

Creation itself is a thing of love, and where there is love there are always miracles. Anything is possible where there are no impediments to love. No matter what illusions of the world may rage, I believe in the possibility of infinite possibility. Miracles are built into the nature of the universe, and I am open to receive them. May love prevail in myself & others. 

So much gratitude for everyone who has reached out with loving thoughts (and a heaping dose of gratitude to those who went so far as to ask "Okay, so who do I need to kill?"...love you, DV!) Please do me a favor and extend those loving thoughts to Dan, as well. #lovewins

You're the best.

Update - I re-read this in the light of day, and fear that it may seem that I'm completely relaxed and zen about the whole thing. Not true. I dropped some things off at Dan's business yesterday (he wasn't there) and cried on the way home. I said not-very-zen things in text messages like "remember, you're the one who hates me, not vice versa" (note: he doesn't). I miss him. We are trying to stay friends, and I am focusing on that. 

it's a good life, hazel grace.


Oh, summer twenty-fourteen...you are so good to me. I know that yesterday was the official start to summer, but the past week+ has offered up glorious days (even the rainy ones), a vibrant social calendar, and the chance to embrace lots of happy moments. 

Interesting - last monday, I became hyper-aware of the fact that after a particularly good weekend, I "corrected" back to my normal - a state of struggle & discouragement. It was super empowering to be able to recognize the behavior, talk about it with a trusted friends, and come up with a plan for the next time. When you know better, you do better.


So often, my peace & calm is tied to water - I've found myself at the waterfront more often than not over the past week. I'm missing the ocean, and thinking hard about my 2nd act being in the west, but in the meantime....Lake Champlain serves up a worthy substitute. 

As usual, I'm behind on a dozen things (hi Mom!), and feeling like the days go by in a flash, but I do know this....it's a good life. (and yes, I saw The Fault in Our Stars...and loved it. Also loved Chef.)

move more, drink less.

2012-03-02 14.37.00
disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Talking about diet & weight loss is probably one of the top ways to get people all up in your business (I'll have to google that). Weight is deeply personal, and highly emotional. I get it. I'm sharing b/c I'm still working on being all whole & healed...and this is part of it. I welcome comments, suggestions, and support...but not judgement. 

Many of you are familiar with Cathy Zielske's Move More, Eat Well/Eat Less project. I've always adored Cathy for her honesty in all things...but I particularly adore her honesty about the challenges of staying in shape. I've pondered taking her online class several times, but 1) I suck at online classes and 2) I hesitate on the Eat Well part. I already eat pretty well. I don't drink soda. I've eliminated most processed foods from our diet. I avoid high fructose syrup like the plague. I don't eat meat. I eat copious amounts of kale. I'm not perfect, by any means, but eating well is not really an issue. 

I've been working with my naturopath on managing symptoms of adrenal fatigue, which is also related to holding on to weight. I've been working with a half-dozen doctors from different specialties to remedy my back & hip pain. Weight loss has not been a focus, and I don't intend for it to be a singular focus. I want to feel better...and yep, I want to look better. For the sake of documentation (and b/c I failed to get a decent selfie) - my BMI is 28.3, so I need to lose 21lbs to get to a healthy BMI and be at the upper end of the weight range for my height.

So, I eat well, I'm trying to deal with stress, and I need to lose 21lbs. What to do? Inspired by Cathy, I need to move more. I need to work toward 10K steps a day. I need to ride my bike. I need to get to the gym (which has the added benefit of reducing my health care costs). And instead of eat well (or less), the reality is that I need to drink less. I've spent the past couple of years using wine to take the edge off...and I've managed to put the pounds on. Please note (Mom)...there is no issue with addiction, merely with (liquid) calorie consumption.

My goals for the coming month (I realize that it's not calendar Aug yet, but it is fiscal Aug at work...so I'm following that calendar)...

1. Log an average of 10K steps per day (averaged on a weekly basis). 

2. Go to the gym to focus on strength training at least 2x per week.

3. Limit drinking to business and social occasions. 

4. Go for a bike ride every weekend.

I like the way that Lee designates a small reward for herself. My reward for meeting these 4 goals will be a new pair of sneakers

around here : mid july

Who turned up the heat?
I try really hard to not complain about the temperature in the summer - I save those complaints for the winter. I'll stick to complaining about the humidity and the mosquitos. I mean, seriously. This hair is not humidity-friendly. At all. I tried to sit out in the yard last night in an adirondack chair, under a tree...idyllic, right? Mosquitos nearly carried me away.

Project Life, OLW, and my Happiness Project are all on my mind. I haven't given up on any of them. Project Life - you know the score. OLW - I haven't talked about SOAR much b/c it hasn't been as present as SHIFT was in 2012. In fact, shift kinda refused to leave...which is okay by me. Happiness Project - I fell off the wagon on setting themes & resolutions. I'm slowly getting back on track. More on that soon. 

Doing the (side) Hustle. I am very, very fortunate that I have interesting & inspiring freelance work. A little social media, a few photo shoots, and some crafting add up to some good times. I also do a wee bit of writing - and I'm thinking that I might try ramping that up. Not sure exactly what that looks like yet. 

Walk & ride. I lost my FitBit charger for about a week, so my stats make it look like I didn't budge. Not true! I'm happy to have the tracking back, although it's also a harsh reminder that my days are very sedentary. I can definitely see bike riding become a BIG part of my routine. 

Reading too many books at once (which results in staying up too late). Watching Suits and Mistresses. Drinking too much coffee. 

How's your July?


the first week of June.

First, let me just say that you won't hear any "where is the time going???" complaints from this girl. 2013 has been all kinds of challenging, so I'm not willing time to slow down. No, really. Not at all.

this week...I attended the 3rd session of a Thought Patterns for High Performance seminar that our company hosted. Overall, it's AWESOME stuff. However, I didn't enjoy today. I was distracted. I was restless. I was (mildly) irritated that I had to pull the introvert card - twice - and declare my need for silence while thinking. That being said, I think that my favorite take-away is a neon index "compliment card" that has positive things about ME, written by 8 of my co-workers. Co-workers that are on different teams, that I don't interract with on a daily basis. I think that I'm going to mailing compliment cards to friends. 

this week...Austin & I are doing a raw + vegan eating plan. Some may remember that I did a month long vegan experiment in 2011. I survived, sampled some interesting vegan restaurants, and...sorely missed eggs. I predict the same outcome this time. Austin & I agree that we don't want to be raw and/or vegan long term - but it's a (relatively) easy reset strategy. Note - for anyone concerned about an active teenage boy & protein - we're supplementing with a raw vegan protein powder, and hemp seeds (10g of protein per 3 tbls). We had zucchini "noodles" with arugula pesto & diced red peppers for dinner last night and LOVED it. 

this week...I am looking forward to seeing Clint Bierman & the Necessary Means at Nectars. I saw/heard them at Jazz Fest this past weekend, and they are amazeballs. Plus, Clint is particularly easy on the eyes. He makes bald look wicked hot. Just sayin.

this week...I need to clean my bathrooms, fold the mountain of laundry on Hope's bed (SO dangerous to have an empty room at my storage disposal), and dispose of the majesty palm in the living room that I managed to kill. Austin's reaction to my speculation about how I killed the plant was "Or, it's just that you have a black thumb. You can't be good at everything Mom. That wouldn't be fair to other people." 

this week...I am moving forward with a sense of humor & adventure. 'Nuff said.

this week...I am SUPER excited for my little brother, who is moving to Madison NEXT SUNDAY. Whhhaaattt??? Wasn't I just there?? Crazy little thing called life.

What's on your plate this week?

(4.15) this week.

this week, I am looking forward to warm temps (even when they involve rain). 

this week, I am doing some spring cleaning of the detox sort. 

this week, I am researching ways to get rid of the skunk who is living under my shed.

this week, I am reading The Tapping Solution and kind of loving it.

this week, I am thinking of changing up my gym routine - new location maybe?

this week, I am working on Project Life. Yep, for reals.

this week, I am wishing that someone would just show up & handle all the leaves that are in my yard. Sigh.

What are you up to this week?

monday's grace.


Today, I am grateful for - 

*gluten-free noodles baked with heavy cream, smoked gruyere, and sharp cheddar. Yes, I said heavy cream. Don't judge. It was either that, or vanilla almond milk.

*Egyptian Licorice tea.

*Honesty, kindness, and understanding. I'm looking at you, Stephenie

*bright & bold fake flowers


*a good-old-fashioned heating pad. It has been a day wrought with back spasms.

*new blogs leading me down new paths. so perfectly timed.

And most of all, I am grateful to have the chance to begin again tomorrow.