Day 31—The Last One

I can’t believe I actually finished this challenge.  I really hope you have enjoyed reading a little more about me.  Some of the topics were more fun that others to write about.

The last one is What are the first 10 songs on my playlist if I put it on shuffle, and what does that say about me.

I actually don’t have a ton of music on my iphone at the moment, and most of it is on there strictly for when I am running/working out.  I am not sure if it will say anything about me but lets see what happens….

Healer- Kari Jobe  This is not a work out song but I put this one one when I need a little extra encouragement.  I think it’s a good reminder in trusting in God’s plan.

This is the New Year- A Great Big World

Love Me Like You Do- Ellie Goulding  Loving this song right now and good beat for my workouts

Boom Clap-Charli XCX  All for the workout

Clean- Taylor Swift  Loving the whole album

Pompeii- The Glee Version  I just really like this version.  Not even apologizing.

Hall of Fame- Will.i.am

Heartbeat Song- Kelly Clarkson

Wildest Dreams- Taylor Swift

Oceans- Hillsong  (LOVE LOVE LOVE)

Day 30- 3 Online Friends I Have Yet to Meet

3 online Friends that I have yet to meet

This is sort of hard because there are so many blogs that I read almost every day and I just want to meet all of you!

I would have to list Our Greatest Desire (Dawn). We have become sort of pen pals over the year and there is just nothing better than snail mail from an infertility sister.

I would LOVE to meet Caroline (in Due time) and Elisha (waiting for baby bird) because they are two of the most encouraging people I have encountered. They are both always so positive. I just want to give both of them a hug!

One time I actually saw Jessah at Dreaming of Dimples at an event (she lives in my area). It was sort of like seeing a blogger celebrity and I was way too embarrassed to introduce myself and I didn’t want to seem like a weird blog stalker.   I actually was almost as excited as when I saw Matthew Perry at the Grove (in LA) a few years ago.  Hopefully if she reads this she laughs and if I happened to run into her again I would like to think I would introduce myself.

I also have to mentioned My Perfect Breakdown because based on her comments on my posts, I feel like we might have a lot in common.

My Whole30 Kitchen- The Pantry: Part One

I have had a few people ask for more information on my Whole30 so I decided to do a little mini series on what I learned, what I eat, ect.  Going through it was such a great experience and I learned so much that I thought it would be great to put it in one place for reference.

My husband and I are still eating mostly Whole30 meals with only a few adjustments here and there.  It is pretty hard to stop eating this way when we both feel so great and we are both not yet at our goal weights.  Additionally the end goal here is to hopefully help improve our fertility.  We have both been really considering what we eat (if it’s off plan).  Sometimes we treat ourselves, but we don’t make those decisions lightly.  Sometimes it’s just not worth it to indulge and sometimes it is.

In my first few posts I am going to focus on preparing for Whole30. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you want to be successful I would highly recommend spending some time preparing.  This includes researching Whole30 compliant recipes which sound good to you, making a meal plan for your first week, and stocking your kitchen appropriately.  There is currently a shelf in my pantry dedicated to only Whole30 friendly foods.

In this post I will focus on some pantry items which I find to be key in Whole30 cooking.

First is the cooking fats.  Coconut oil, Ghee (clarified butter), and olive oil are by far the most important three fats to have on hands.  Almost every Whole30 recipe includes one of these and they are all unrefined and good for you.  If you want more info on how this kind of fat is good for you, I highly recommend that you read “It Starts With Food”.  Actually I highly recommend that you ready it if you are going to do Whole30 in general but more on that later.  I also stock avocado oil because I make my own mayo and this is a key ingredient.  Finally I also have some sesame oil, which should be used in moderation but can give food a delicious and powerful flavor.  I buy avocado oil and coconut oil at Costco.  It is much much more economical to buy it there than at a grocery store.

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My next set of must have items include the vinegars and a few other special items.  I would highly recommend that you stock balsamic vinegar coconut vinegar, and apple cider vinegar.  They are common ingredients in many Whole30 recipes.  Additionally having coconut aminos on hand is a great idea as it is a substitute for soy sauce and also a common ingredient.  Finally Whole30 Fish sauce such as Red Boat appears in lots of recipes.  Just a little goes a long way with this one, and it doesn’t have a great smell, but it does add great flavor.

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Finally below are some of the condiments we keep.  Compliant hot sauces and salsa were super important for my husband and I as we like things on the spicy side.  We also found having Dijon and whole grain mustard (without sugar-check labels!) on hand was helpful.  Finally finding compliant pickles was huge for me!

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When I first started shopping took forever.  You literally have to check every label because they sneak preservatives and sugar into everything!  I was excited to find compliant salsa and hot sauce at Trader Joe’s both for cheap!  The salsa is also organic!

All in all I found that I did a combination of shopping at Costco, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and a local grocery chain called The Nugget to full stock my house.  Obviously you do not need to go out and get EVERYTHING on my list but hopefully you found some of this information helpful!

Day 29- Do I Collect Anything

Since I was a child my family has been trying to get me to collect something, and I refuse. When I was younger I would get gifts like figurines (I think they were cherished Teddies) or ornaments. At one point when I was an adult my mom bought me some antique tea cups because she felt that I needed to collect something so she would know what to get me as a gift.

I am completely anti collection. My parents and grandparents are all collectors of many things and I somehow turned out to be very opposite. I really don’t like clutter and houses where I live do not have basements which means storage is limited. I struggle to find places for things as it is so I certainly have no room to collect more!

I do have quite a few cookbooks, because I love to cook. I don’t really collect them but I have been given quite a few of the artsy ones as gifts (that are less useful but much prettier). We also have somewhat of a wine collection. I don’t know that I would even call it a collection, but we are holding on to some special bottles that are too young to open. We belong to one wine club that ships only those kinds of bottles so our “collection” of bottles we can’t open yet is growing!

As a side note if I were vastly wealthy I might start a diamond jewelry collection.  Does that count?

Day 27 and 28

Day 27- 10 people I would invite to dinner and why

I find this to be a sort of odd topic. Am I supposed to pick famous people? People who are no longer with us? I am not sure where to go with this one, so instead I am going to tell you about one of my favorite dinners ever, which happened to be with 10 other people (plus my husband and I).

My husband turned 40 in 2013. I spent nearly 9 months planning a super weekend in Napa/Sonoma with 5 other couples. We rented an amazing villa in Sonoma which perfectly housed all 12 of us. As a thank you to everyone coming up to help him/us celebrate I really wanted to host a nice dinner for everyone. I did a lot of research on restaurants in the area (and if you have ever been there you know it’s pricey!). I few months before the trip I went to a winery in Sonoma with my husband and in-laws and they were advertising private dinner’s at the winery. I had actually had lunch there years prior and it was excellent so I decided to look into it. It turned out to be the most cost effective solution. The dinner was actually several courses paired with wines and I felt like the biggest question mark on my budget was going to be the alcohol so this solved the problem since it was all included!

The night of the dinner I didn’t tell anyone in our group what was going on but I made everyone dress up. We arrived at the winery around 6, and of course the winery portion was already closed. Everyone was really in a panic thinking I had made a mistake. I went up and met with the food manager briefly and then led everyone into the dining room. In the middle of the room was a table with 12 place settings, a meat and cheese spread displayed as we walked in, a beautiful fire place, and a waitress handing us all glasses of wine. Everyone was in shock. All they could say was “This is just for us? There is no one else here? Just us!” It was perfect.

The dinner lasted nearly 4 hours. We had great conversation and everyone even went around the table and said something about their relationship with my husband. The food was, of course, amazing. They even printed custom menus for us. I cannot think of a more perfect dinner for 12.

Day 28- Do I have a regret

Looking back on my life I made some choices that I know now weren’t right. I was in relationships that now seem like such mistakes. Sometimes I wish I would have just gone to the college I wanted to go to right out of high school instead of letting my parents make the decision for me, and then later transferring. I wonder how that might have changed my college experience. I look back on time in my life and just wish I had handled them differently. But I don’t know that I would be the person I am today if I had not made those choices, been in those relationships, and learned so much from my decisions. Accountability for your actions is really important to me. If you are going to pick a path I think you need to just own it and hold yourself responsible for the repercussions. And if it doesn’t work the way you thought I think you have to figure it out.

Life is full of a lot of big decisions. Jobs, marriages, kids, health, and so on. There is really no way out of making these decisions and sometimes things just might not work out. The only think you can do is learn from it and move forward.

Day 26- Quote I try to Live By

I don’t really live by any quote but I will share my favorites.

The cure for anything is salt water: Sweat, Tears or the Sea- Isak Dinesen

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on- Robert Frost

Be faithful in small things because it is there that your strength lies- Mother Teresa

Faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase- Martin Luther King Jr.

Day 25-Something I Always Think “What if…” About

I really don’t like this one, because I spend a lot of time fighting the urge NOT to think about “what if”. Thinking about What If brings on panic and fear and just generally isn’t healthy for me right now. Obviously the big one for me is “what If I never get to have a child”.

On more of a silly note it’s sort of funny to think about what would have happened if I had never left Kansas. It was a great place to grow up. Very safe. Lots of community. There are things I even miss. Things are just slower back in my hometown. I remember my freshman year of college, before I transferred to Maryland, I was still dating my high school boyfriend. One night he basically told me his “5 year plan” for us. He told me when he was going to propose, when we would get married and when we would have kids. I TOTALLY FREAKED OUT. At 19 I was not ready to even think about those things yet (incidentally he did marry the girl he dated after me and they have like 5 kids now). What if that was my life? I love that I am from a small town but I cannot see myself living there now.

Things worked out for me the way there were supposed to I think. I mean I am still a little shocked that I live in California, even after having been here since 2008. I never could have imagined this is where I would settle at this point in my life, but here I am. Things are not perfect but I am really happy I did not try to plan out my life and instead just let things happen.

Day 23/24

I am doing two days in my post today, because I REALLY try to stay off the computer on weekends.

Day 23- The last time I cried.

It’s been a while, but from what I recall it was a few weeks ago when my husband and I got in a fight. He told me he had to go on a work trip to Seattle in March and I suggested that I come and see a friend of mine while he did his work stuff. He was TOTALLY NEGATIVE about the idea and I got really upset. I ended up having to go outside and walk to calm down so I didn’t cry at work. He eventually saw the error of his attitude and we worked it out. Ironically we booked the trip and then his work portion got cancelled but we are going anyway.

Day 24- My Zodiac Sign and Do I think it Fits me?

Well I am a Virgo but I don’t really know much about astrology. So I did a Google search of what describes a Virgo and it turned up some pretty interesting things. The most simplified version I could find used these words

Virgo Strength Keywords:

-Analytical- YES –

-Observant- YES –

-Helpful-YES –

-Reliable-YES –

– Precise-YES

Virgo Weakness Keywords:

– Skeptical-YES

-Fussy- not at all

-Inflexible-not at all –

-Cold-not at all

-Interfering- not at all

So in conclusion I have no weaknesses.  Just kidding. I totally do but I would not say that those descriptors would be true, except for skeptical.  I can be skeptical at times.  I also read that Virgos are independent, which is very true for me.

A little over a year ago I had to do a type of personality test at work.  I actually spent a few hours going over the results with someone in HR and it was SO interesting.  The test not only measured your answers but also how long you took to answer each question.  The questions were pretty crazy and you had to answer that you either strongly agreed, strongly disagreed, agreed, disagreed, or were neutral, and you supposed to use neutral as little as possible.  It was amazing how well the outcome described who I am.  I think these types of things can do a better job of evaluating traits and tendencies than just an astrological sign based on your birthday, but obviously there is a little something to it because all of the strength words do hit home.

Day 22- What Always Makes Me Feel Better

The only thing I can think of which consistently makes me feel more at ease in almost any situation is a hot bath.

Other things that also help depending on the situation include:

Organizing something such as the garage, a closet ect.

Going for a walk or jog

Carbs, cheese, sugar

After a very stressful day of work I might stop in for a 20 min chair massage

A nap