Whole 30 Grocery Haul – Week One

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Welcome to my first Whole 30 Grocery Haul!

I love seeing what staples other people buy at the grocery store so I thought it might be fun to share mine while we are doing this Whole 30. More fun — I’ll show you how much we spent. I shared how I save money doing a Whole 30 yesterday so I thought I’d also show you throughout the month what the actual spending looks like.

A few things to note:

*We had some veggies I wanted to use up this week (zucchini, green beans, squash, baby carrots and a head of cauliflower and a bag of kale) and the freezer was pretty full of protein so I meal planned this week to use what we had on hand.

*For breakfast we’re eating frittatas with chorizo, kale and black olives. For lunches I made chili. For dinners, it’s just meat and veg every night in different varieties. I’ll try and share some meals over on Instagram so you can see specifically what we’re eating.

*As we go through the month we’ll DEFINITELY buy more protein, so don’t worry — I didn’t just stock up on protein the week before we started tracking and then am all of a sudden going to be like “See…wee only spend a few dollars.” No ma’am. We’ll definitely need to buy ground beef next week for sure and I’m sure at the end of the month we’ll still have usable stuff in the freezer, so you’ll see how all of that balances out at the end.

*As for pantry/freezer stock other than protein, I always have cans of tuna, cooking fats, and random bags of frozen veggies for when we need quick meals. I may or may not have to restock those things during the course of the month, but I’d be restocking them regardless of a Whole 30 so I don’t think it will be a huge budget swing.

*At the end of the month maybe I’ll get real crazy and break down our spending by veg/protein/fat and give you a price per meal.

So after all that — here’s what we bought.

WHOLE FOODS

Chorizo
Eggs
Shredded Carrots
Kale
Potatoes (YESSSS! This is our first Whole 30 since potatoes got the green light!)
Grapes
Coconut Milk
Avocados

What we spent: $35.28

RALEYS

Hard Boiled Eggs
Jalapenos
Red Onions
Celery
Green Onions
Green + Yellow Peppers
Fizzy Water

What we spent: $30.38

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WEEK ONE GRAND TOTAL: $65.66

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How I Save Money Doing A Whole 30

keep-calmSource

Last Saturday I put together a meal plan for this month’s Whole 30 and headed off to Whole Foods and Raleys (our local supermarket) to pick up some groceries for this week’s eats. I find it super helpful to have a meal plan so I can make sure I have all the ingredients I will need on hand to cook all of my meals.

SIDEBAR ON MEAL PLANNING: I loosely schedule my meals on certain days based on what’s going on with work (long days = crock pot meals) or my workouts (evening workouts = quick meals where morning workouts allow for more time consuming dinners) but I’m not militant about it.

For example, I may schedule Taco Salad on Monday but if I get home and am more in the mood for coconut lime shrimp, it’s easy to change things up on the fly because I have ensured I have all the ingredients on hand because I made a meal plan, ya know? There’s nothing worse than getting home from a long day at work, starting to cook a dinner that sounds good and then missing an ingredient. UGH!

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Anyway, I mentioned last week that when we do a Whole 30 we usually spend less money on food. Some of you seemed surprised by that, so I thought I’d share a few of the reasons why:

1. I’m not buying any booze.

It’s not like during the other 335 days a year we are going bankrupt on the booze aisle or anything, but usually on the weekends we’ll mix up a specialty cocktail or grab a bottle of wine that looks good and is on sale at the grocery store. These little things add up, and I don’t do this type of impulse purchasing at all when we are doing a Whole 30.

2. I’m not buying snack/treat type foods

When doing a Whole 30 those Hail Merry Macaroons don’t seem to mysteriously hop in my Whole Foods cart like they do at times when I’m perusing the store. I am not tempted to pick up Glutino crackers and Cambezola on a Friday night as a little appetizer and I’m not keeping my favorite Krave (super awesome gluten free) Jerky around the house for snacking. There’s nothing wrong with those foods in moderation, but over 30 days, my spending on fancy cheese definitely decreases.

3. I’m not eating as much and not feeding my cravings

In real life, as I let sugar sneak into my diet here and there, I find that I need to snack every few hours. Generally when doing a Whole 30, because I’m very focused on balancing an abundance of vegetables, meat and healthy fats I feel very satiated. I literally find that about 10-12 days in I’m even eating smaller portions. Our food literally stretches further and I’m not craving a snack a couple of hours after I eat. All of those things have a downstream effect on our food budget.

4. We eat out less
This one sort of speaks for itself. We actually don’t eat out too often anyway, but a lunch here or there at work, weekend dinners when we don’t feel like cooking — all of that adds up.

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Anyway, with all that in mind, I thought it might be fun to document our grocery spending this month so you can see what we spend where. Tomorrow I’ll post our first Whole 30 Grocery Haul — what we shelled out and what we brought home. I thought this might be a fun peek inside our grocery habits this month and may give you some encouragement if you are afraid to do a Whole 30 just because you think it will cost a million dollars. We’ll see how it goes!

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Weekend Recap: Naps, Eating Dirty + Super Bowl Smack Talk

Happy February! And for us, Happy Whole 30!

We thought about starting yesterday, but who starts a Whole 30 on Super Bowl Sunday?
Richard Sherman
Yeah, that’s about how we felt about starting on 2/1

We did watch the Super Bowl on Sunday but I’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s rewind back to Friday, shall we? I don’t know about you but when I was young Friday night was my favorite night of the week. I was always excited because it was a fun night to go out and it was the start of the weekend.

These days on Friday nights I usually work out, head home, cook dinner and then all I can think about is how comfy my couch is! Garrett sent my mom this photo on Friday night around 9pm and just captioned it #MyFridayNight — Clearly Buster and I are PARTY ANIMALS!
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Saturday I was up bright and early to hit up a 7 am spin class and to get all my errands done. I’ve had “Wash Car” on my To Do List for weeks but I just hadn’t gotten it done so on Saturday I was determined. I ran around most of the afternoon grocery shopping and doing other random things so when I got home I decided I would take advantage of a decadent Saturday afternoon and get in bed and read. Buster and I accidentally ended up taking naps though. NO REGRETS!
We decided we could both use a nap.
Buster and I love sleep like Buddy the Elf loves smiling

Saturday night we had an official date night. My friend Sarah was performing at her graduation from an improv class she’s been taking. How bad ass is that? She is quick witted and completely hysterical, so improv totally suits her.
For the record @homesweetsarah kills it at improv!
Sarah explaining how she’d been thrown into Mall Jail for being 31 but shopping at Forever 21. Funny friends are the best friends, I tell ya!

Afterward we headed down the street to a very hipester-y joint called LowBrau for dinner where I had to order one of the things they are famous for — the Dirty Duck Fries. They are epic. And why not wash them down with some mini-corn dogs?
Duck Fat Fries? Mini Corn Dogs? I mean, What else do you need?
#EatDirty #DirtyEats #WaitWhenIsMyWhole30

Sunday was another early morning Spin class. Garrett + I have been enjoying weekend spin classes at a studio that is literally 5 minutes from our house. It’s just kind of a fun way to wake up on the weekends and sneak in a quick calorie burner. Which, ya know, comes in handy on Super Bowl Sunday. :) Did you guys watch?

We were rooting for the Patriots mostly because we are 49ers fans which means we absolutely COULD NOT root for the Seahawks – sorry Seattle friends! The other thing tipping the scales in the Patriots’ favor is Gronk.
gronk
#SorryNotSorry

But aside from the game I was also interested in the halftime show and the commercials (duh!) Watching Katy Perry made me realize how limited your performance options are if you are a pop star who can’t dance. That must be kind of hard. But bringing Missy Elliot back was the highlight of the show I thought. She’s my fave! (This BuzzFeed post about her made me laugh.)

As for the commercials, I thought they were mostly fun. I was really excited to see the Nationwide commercials (since that’s my company) but haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I guess they are really testing out the theory that there is no bad press. I’m interested to see what work is like today. :)

How were your weekends? Do anything fun? How did you feel about the Super Bowl/Halftime show/Commercials? Do tell….

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Things I’m Thinking About AKA Bullets About Why We’re Doing A February Whole 30

Asian Pork Salads #yum #leftovers #hollydoesdinner

*We’re doing a February Whole 30. I know I told you that in the title, but you know — I thought I’d just reiterate for clarity. :)

*Well, a Whole 30+. We are going to start in February and go until March 9. What is March 9, you ask? Our engagement photos. And the second we set the date Garrett was like “Hey, let’s Whole 30!” ha! He says he feels chubby. He is NOT chubby.

*Upside though, is I like the idea of feeling bright eyed and being clear skinned in those photos and all, so I agreed. Knowing my luck I’ll still wake up the day of with a giant, visible blemish.

*Sidebar: Do you think there is a wedding planning gene? If so, mine clearly has a mutation. My mom said to me the other day that this wedding I am planning almost seemed like a second job. And YES, MOTHER YOU ARE CORRECT! It totally is! Except instead of getting paid I get to PAY OTHER PEOPLE. #grumble

*So, I know there are people out there who use Whole 30 as a diet (ahem, Garrett – YOU’RE BUSTED!) which is all controversial and stuff, but I promise you I am not doing that. What I am making no secret of doing though, is using the Whole 30 as a budgeting tool. We always spend SO MUCH LESS on groceries when we do a Whole 30 and since groceries are one of our biggest expenses it’s always something that shows a noticeable return. After making deposits on all sorts of wedding related crap and a MUCHO EXPENSIVO trip to the vet with Buster, February seemed like a GREAT time to just Whole 30 that shit up! YAY. More money to spend on a wedding! #grumblegrumble

*Tangentially related: I’m thinking about jumping on the What I Ate Wednesday bandwagon. I actually don’t think it is a bandwagon at all, but you know what I mean — sharing some everyday photos of what I’ve been eating. I like the idea for accountability (this is where people who don’t blog are like — YOU TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR FOOD? whut? WHY?) But also to inspire a little creativity in the kitchen.

*Oh! Oh! And this is my other reason for doing a Whole 30 — I find when I have parameters to work within, I am SO MUCH MORE creative. This makes me sound RULL SQUARE. But alas, it is true! Right now I’m in a bit of a cooking rut. We’re having good meals, but I’m not like, excited or jazzed about too many of them. It’s just kind of the Greatest Hits on repeat. I am someone who likes cooking to be a creative outlet and usually when I do a Whole 30 I get jazz-hands-obnoxious about recipes and trying new things. Also there’s the added bonus that about 15 days in even super boring/plain food tastes AMAZEBALLS (yeah, I just used that word) because my taste buds are back to normal.

*But let’s be honest, some weeks it is hard enough for me to even just get here and post bullet pointed lists of my thoughts. So to remember to be creative in the kitchen, take pictures and post them once a week may be a tad ambitious. We shall see.

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Anyone else doing a February Whole 30?

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Thursday Things

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*Well I have joined the rest of popular culture and begun playing Trivia Crack. And just like that — there goes many potentially productive hours of my life because holy hell, that is F-U-N! (P.S. Come find me – Let’s Play!)

*What are we all watching on Netflix lately? I have an entire Sunday ahead of me with not a thing to do. I think I may stay in my PJs all day and watch movies (not sure if I can commit to starting a new TV show.) Any suggestions?

*We hired a wedding photographer! I’m so excited. We’re totally going to be those obnoxious people who take engagement photos with their dog. The more vendors we nail down the more I feel like this party is actually going to happen. Now, onto a caterer.

*We have also purchased ALL THE BOOZE from Costco in the recent past, so we are on point for having a good wedding bar, ha! They have had some amazing post-holiday markdowns lately and we’ve just kept pouncing.
Prosecco for days! The wedding stockpiling has begun. If you need a drink, come to my garage.

*Buster’s cuddle quotient is so high in the winter. It’s like all he wants to do is lay all over Garrett and I and I’ll tell you what I am not complaining.

Mid-day snuggles!

*If you’ve been reading for any length of time you know that I always cut my hair (because I like the way it looks short) and then complain incessantly because I can’t put it up into a ponytail when I work out. Short hair for me is awesome, yet un-functional. So I’m in a non-snipping phase lately and the other day I pulled my hair up into a ponytail and the ponytail itself measured 6.5 inches. (Yes I did make Garrett pull out a tape measure. It was a totally useful way to spend time. ha) This blows my mind for some reason.

*We’re going to a “Roaring 20s” Crab Feed this weekend so I think I may have to resurrect my 50 Cent Flapper costume. Man that turned out to be useful Amazon purchase. Who knew?
Any fun plans for YOU this weekend?

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Happy “Baby Friday” Y’all!

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What We’re Eating This Week: Freezer Food Ideas

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This week’s highlight: Blurry Football Selfie Celebrating the Buckeye win! WOOT!

Garrett was out of town last weekend and instead of relaxing and just enjoying my alone time I ran 900 million errands and cooked enough food for an entire town. Our freezer is overflowing. I have a tendency to do things like that when I have a long stretch of free time ahead of me, and then I get to Sunday night and I’m like “Wait what, I have to go back to work? BUT WHERE WAS MY BUBBLE BATHING AND COUCH LAYING TIME?”

It turns out this week has been (somewhat unexpectedly) busy, so even though I didn’t relax a ton this weekend I am so freaking happy to have so much ready to eat food in my fridge. I made some yummy stuff and thought I would share because most of them are good recipes for batch cooking and popping in the freezer or for just enjoying throughout the week – ALREADY COOKED!

***I made a batch of Mel’s Persian Spiced Winter Vegetable Soup and it might be the thing that made my kitchen smell the best all weekend! Onions, garlic and butternut squash softening in ghee is about the most blissful thing ever. And that’s before you add in all the spice deliciousness.
Persian Soup

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The only change I made was upping the Aleppo Pepper to 4 teaspoons because we are crazy people who love spicy/hot food. We ate this for dinner on Monday night with some crisped up kielbasa chunks on top to make it a meal. This recipe is a 10 and would freeze beautifully and we ate it while watching Ohio State trounce Oregon. Besides tasting good this soup might also be a good luck charm! :) (A few people have asked me why we Californians love Ohio State so much. It’s a family thing – this is Garrett’s grandpa’s brother so his family has a lot of OSU pride that has rubbed off on me.)

***I also had 4 lbs of stew meat on hand so I used half of it to make AndreAnna’s Asian Orange Beef. I’ve sung the praises of this recipe so many times (it’s an all time favorite of Garrett’s) and we usually either make cauliflower rice or roast cauliflower like we did last night because it pairs so well. I add an extra yellow onion to the simmer, use mandarin oranges in a jar from Costco as well as add a few Tablespoons of red pepper flakes because, again WE LOVE THE HEAT. It’s bomb diggity!

asian beef

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***With the other 2 lbs of stew meat I tried a new (to me) recipe for Slow Cooker Garlic and Rosemary Beef Stew. I was stranded at home for a bit on Saturday because I had to wait for AAA to come replace my VERY DEAD battery in my car so while I was waiting I browned the meat and got it all crockpot ready.

Rosemary-Garlic-Beef-Stew-front

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It was a quick assembly but when it was finished cooking it was a little bit…gray? The flavor was SUPER good though so I salvaged it by adding some Kitchen Boquet. I feel like the fact that I own (and occasionally use) this product is some sort of culinary crime, but we’re all friends here so I’m just going to tell you I sprinkled a few drops in and it turned my stew the perfect brown. I obviously prefer a stovetop/oven but desperate times, you know. Like I said, the flavor was great!

***Lastly, I made a completely unhealthy, completely comfort food dish which I know is just so not a “January” thing to do but I could not resist. On Christmas Eve my aunt makes this really delicious (completely non-paleo) lasagna that everyone just dies over. She sent me the recipe in the mail and I happened to grab the mail on my way to the grocery store on Sunday. When I opened the envelope, my impulsive nature reared its head and I was like “I’m making a gluten free version of this IMMEDIATELY.” And I did.
Lasagna

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I would actually call myself someone who DISLIKES lasagna. It’s just never all that great to me, but for some reason this lasagna recipe is life changing. Now I wouldn’t call it nutritious at all, but sometimes you just have to live a little. I gave some to Garrett in his lunch on Monday and right about noon he sent me this:
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*As the icing on the cake I baked this Ground Beef and Spinach Egg Casserole but I used pork because we had some on hand. Still delightful!

I also mixed up some smoked salmon salad with tons of celery and Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Mayo. Yeah, you need to run out and pick some of THAT up, lemme tell ya. I am also not a fan of mayonnaise (unless it’s homemade) so we rarely have it in our fridge but I picked this up on a whim at Whole Foods since Juli is always raving about it and I feel like it doesn’t even taste like mayonnaise. It’s more like a chipotle sauce and now I want it ON EVERYTHING. #WORTHTHEHYPE #AMAZEBALLSWITHSALMON

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So that’s a wintery little dose of the freezer food we’ve got cooking up lately.

What kind of hearty dishes are happening in your kitchen?

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Who Doesn’t Love A Good Meme?

Tamara tagged me in a meme (how awesomely retro….YES!!!!!) so I’m going to answer some questions and then tag all of you who want to do this. See? It’ll be like 1997 up in here.

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1. What is my current health related goal?

Managing my stress levels. Last night Garrett and I made a wedding related decision right as we were getting into bed and then I lied awake for two hours listening the the hamster wheel in my brain. That was dumb and today I am tired. I need to be proactive about how I manage some of the stressors in my life right now and in doing that I will positively impact my health.

2. What is my biggest irrational fear?

Dropping my keys into a drainage grate. If I have to walk in even a three foot radius of any kind of parking lot drainage grate and I have keys in my hands I always have THE DEATH GRIP on them. I’m so afraid that it will magnetically suck them out of my hand into some evil Pennywise vortex and I will be stranded at Target or something.

The fear is REAL, yo.

3. Do I enjoy wrapping presents?

No. And it’s not because I don’t enjoy wrapping paper, or bows, or fancy looking gifts or anything. It’s more that once I decide on a gift for someone and then actually have it in my possession, I just want to give it to them RIGHT THIS INSTANT. I cannot keep a secret and my impulse control is low, so if you get a present from me and it is wrapped, know that it took all the fight I could muster to not just throw it in your lap the second I bought it.

4. What is my favorite cross-training activity?

I like all training, whether it is grumpy, happy, sleepy OR cross.

5. If you came to visit me, what would we do?

Well I live in Sacramento where our city motto is “An hour from the ocean, and hour from the mountains” so I guess it would depend on what you like to do. If I had my way we’d indulge in the motto that *I’ve* given Sacramento which is “An hour from Napa, so let’s go have some wine and then come home and watch Netflix on the couch.”

I think we’d have fun though. :)

6. I have two weeks off work and two round trip tickets to anywhere. Where would I go and who would I take with me?

On someone else’s dime? Hmmm…I think Garrett and I would hop on a plane to New Zealand. Or else maybe go to Monaco during the Formula One race. But then I would have to figure out a way to hook up with someone who has yacht. Or a hotel room with a good view. So maybe New Zealand then, just because the only thing that keeps us from doing that is because plane tickets are so freaking expensive. Ok, I am analyzing this question too much.

7. What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to me during a run or a race?

I mean, have you seen me “run?” It’s all sort of embarrassing.

8. Three best days of my life. Or at least the top three that come to mind.

Yesterday, because it taught me something. Today, because I woke up and got to try again. And tomorrow because it’s full of opportunity. Awwwwwww yeah, I just got super philosophy-douche on that one, didn’t I? I don’t know, I’m not really a “THIS WAS THE GREATEST DAY OF MY LIFE” kind of person.

9. Okay, so I HAVE to eat a fast food meal. Which restaurant do I choose and what do I order?

Taco Bell. No question. And it doesn’t matter what I order because it will surely be full of fake meat and be totally disgusting-licious. No shame.

10. Have I ever met a celebrity?

Many. I lived in LA for 5 years. They’re on every street corner just like Starbucks. Hey, most of them I met in Starbucks. Well, “met” is sort of a weird word to use here. If we’re really talking about meeting celebrities this is the best story I’ve got. (That’s an old blog post, PS, and I drop a lot of F-Bombs in it. Apologies in advance for the fact that I don’t feel like editing it.)

11. Share a picture of myself in non-workout clothes.

I post Outfit of the Day pictures on Instagram sometimes. You can follow me there if you are into that business.
TGIF and an #ootd

12. If I could choose to have a “do over” and switch careers, what would I choose and why?

Are you saying insurance isn’t a sexy “first choice” type of career. WELL THAT’S WEIRD. I don’t know, my secret fantasy has always been to work in the fitness industry because who wouldn’t want to get paid to stay in shape and inspire others to do the same? But alas, I am still working on my fitness (Fergie Style, of course) so people aren’t really throwing money at me to do that. Really anything entrepreneurial appeals to me. But not in that creepy Jim Bellino kind of way.

13. If I won and Olympic gold medal how would I react?

By making out with Ryan Lochte in Olympic Village, obviously.

Juuuuuust kidding. By ugly crying, obviously. I am a reasonable person with reasonable emotions.

14. What do I want for Christmas?

A post-wedding vacation on a beach somewhere. I think I can make that happen.

15. What skill do I lack?

The ability to put up with bullshit without showing my disdain for it all over my face. My poker face is terrible, basically.

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Ok, so who else wants to do this? Leave me a link if you do!

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2015 Goals

2015 Goals

This year it took me quite a while to get my list of goals posted. It wasn’t that I was feeling uninspired about what I want to accomplish — in fact, quite the opposite. When I did my first pass of goal setting the list looked like a novel. If I banged out an item a day I might still not finish — and I had stuff like “Plan Wedding” counting as just one item.

Clearly I needed a different approach. :)

There are lots of things I want to do this year, but the truth is I still have a job, I still have a life, and yep – I am definitely planning a September wedding that suddenly feels like a big ol’ project with a little ol’ timeline. And I’m trying very, very hard to curb my inner-expectation setter so I had to start by not setting 300 goals for the year.

With all that in mind I put together a list of random things on my mind for this year and where it was needed, a little explanation. Some are practical, some are silly, some are aspirational, and surely not all of them will get done. But if I have fun in the process, we’ll call it a win.

Things I Want To Do:


*Have Wedding/Stay Sane/Pay Cash

This goal sort of goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway so I can (hopefully) cross it off of my list.
*Stay in touch with family and friends
I’ve been bad at balancing this with work responsibilities over the last couple of years so it’s at the front of my mind and I’m recommitting to nurturing those relationships this year.
*Make 2015 the year of THE PURGE
We used to always say our house was a small house but that it fit us perfectly. Now it is feeling a little bit…full? We’re going to remedy that this year. I also want this to carry over into all areas of my life. If it’s not working for me, it’s going to get trashed – no matter what it is.
*Make the time I have with my own little family unit (Garrett + Buster) count
I spend a lot of time with Garrett + Buster (because they’re so cute, obvs) but we do sometimes get in a habit of sitting on the couch next to each other staring at our phones. I know we aren’t the only ones. TELL ME WE’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES. So I want to be mindful about quality time with my family.
*Commit to an 80/20 situation with food
My natural tendency is to be 100% or 0% — let’s work on that, Holly. You’re not getting a grade on this so aiming for average is just fine. And probably better in the long run.
*Challenge yourself physically + give 100%
I like to be challenging myself in the fitness arena because both my body and brain appreciate it. This will include some fitness sub-goals along the way I’m sure, but for now keeping myself consistently challenged and NOT phoning it in is a good enough direction to get started.
*Prioritize personal upkeep
Look, you can call me a girly girl, but damn if I am not so much happier when I make time to get my nails done or get a massage or sit in a pedicure chair reading about how “Stars! They’re Just Like Us.” I’ve gone so far as to make appointments ahead of time and WRITE THEM ON MY CALENDAR lately. I want to keep it up.
*Learn a new skill
Because I enjoy being a beginner and trying new things.
*Play golf somewhere fun
I should also add “while not making a fool of yourself.” AKA Driving Range, here I come.

Places I Want To Go:

*Scottsdale, AZ
My cousin Jenny is also getting married this year. We are doing up Scottsdale for her Bachelorette Party.
*Mother Daughter Weekender – Location TBD
We can’t start calling it an annual tradition if we don’t do it every year, right?
*My Bachelorette Party – Location TBD
I’m open to suggestions that aren’t Vegas because, no.
*Central Coast
Because it is my geographic spirit animal and I have to go down there once a year and harass one of my besties who lives down there.
*Maui
Because we were supposed to go in December but we cancelled our trip until we got our wedding budget in order. WELL IT’S IN ORDER NOW, SO… :)
*Des Moines, Iowa
I always end up in Iowa for work, and usually it means I get to hang with AndreAnna, so YAY!
*Honeymoon – Location TBD
Also open to suggestions.

Things I Want To Let Go Of

*Feeling like my worth is based on what I accomplish
*Feeling like “being in control” is better than “being open to what happens”
*Pleasing anyone by myself + Garrett while planning our wedding
*A weight loss goal

Big Ticket Purchases

*A headboard for our bed
*A Smoker
The people doing the Traeger road shows at Costco are starting to think I’m a stalker.
*A Refrigerator
Our “apartment style” refrigerator is just really, really getting old.
*A dSLR
*A Closet Organization System
ELFA, Closet Doctor — just SOMETHING. If you have suggestions, I am all ears.
*Um…A Wedding
Cuz this TOTALLY counts as a purchase, y’all. OOF

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This is still a pretty long list but I think if I get to the end of the year and I’ve made some good attempts I will be pleased. What’s on your list for 2015?

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2014: Year In Review

I love a good Year In Review! Don’t believe me? See Also: 2013 and 2012 and even some meme style 2008 and 2007 reviews. (Guess I got lazy in 2009-11 HA!)

While it is very easy to come to the end of the year and think about all those resolutions that you many not have stuck to, I think it’s more fun to look back and reflect on all of the awesomeness the year brought.

2014 was a tough year for me, but there were moments that were completely fist-bump-worthy. So let’s talk about those…mmmkay?

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January started off with the Nom Nom Paleo book release party down in San Francisco. Michelle and Henry sure do know how to throw a great party. The details and the extra touches were so on point! Not to mention that the cookbook itself was GORGEOUS!

best book launch

We had such a fun time with everyone we hung out with, but man does time fly! I can’t believe it’s already been a year. YEESH!

Best excuse

I also talked in detail about my updated skincare routine (a lot of which I still use) and we started watching Veronica Mars in hopes that it would replace the gaping hole that Dawson’s Creek had left after watching the final episode. (Spoiler Alert: it did not. Garrett LOVED VMars, I thought it was good, but not addicting.)

best skin

Then it was on to February, and the most notable thing here was that I became the kind of person who writes Valentine’s cards to their spouse FROM THE DOG. (WHUT?)

what have i become

But let’s be real…Garrett didn’t mind. That dog has his heart like nothing else! <3

best human pillow

In March I discovered what would become my most favorite breakfast this year:

best breakfast

The lazy woman’s version of Fed and Fit’s Breakfast Salad. YUM! I must have had this a million times this year and it’s still THE BOMB! Sadly, I would give up the coffee part a few months later, but the salad is for sure here to stay.

The weather in April was unseasonably warm and dry and while the State of California would be reasonably worried about a drought, I couldn’t help but enjoy the blue skies all spring long.

skyline

In May we took a huge step in pet ownership (helicopter dog parent alert!) and took Buster to be professionally groomed. We had been sort of nervous previously to just drop him off with a stranger and a pair of clippers, but after he came home looking so ding-dang cute, we kept it up all year long.

fluffernutter

Speaking of grooming, I may have also outed my lip product addiction in May.

addiction admission

It’s the first step, y’all. It’s the first step. :)

All those things were great, but let’s be honest. The thing that will forever be etched in my mind about May of 2014:

Best actual moment

I’m forever in debt to my cousin Gina for capturing this whole thing going down. Man, it almost brings tears to my eyes seeing this. I’m so happy to have these shots forever.

June was a whirlwind of travel, which unfortunately meant I was glued to my phone. The upside was this amazing gem of a discovery on Instagram:
Insta Discovery

I must say “Oh, Tuna!” out loud at least once a week. Don’t judge.

July meant it was time for my mom and I to take our first road trip together!

thelma

I can not underscore enough how special that was. Just two crazy ladies and the open road. Man we had a killer weekend.

sunset beach bunnies

In August we spent a ton of time with friends, which was so great! We hit up a Roaring 20s themed party which required a costume and both Garrett and I ordered super cheapy things off Amazon two days before the event. Saved by Amazon Prime, once again! :)

50 cent flapper

We also welcomed a new appliance to our kitchen
kitchen companion

The feeling of smugness that comes with drinking a giant glass of vegetables came free with purchase. :)

In September we came to terms with the fact that Garrett and I just don’t do very well with selfies.
selfies

Thank god we are all but REQUIRED to hire a professional for the wedding.

Speaking of weddings, we went to 3 weddings in October. WHAT??? I know. At one of the weddings the Best Man busted out this amazing prom photo from 15 years ago because all of the boys in this photo were in attendance. All us ladies had a SERIOUS laugh!

best man visual

Such a gem.

November was full of lots of lovely family moments, but it was also filled with potty humor after I bought this for our bathroom:

cheeky bathroom decor

And I guess that’s probably as good of a place as any to end this year in review. :)

I don’t want to sugar coat it — I will be happy to see this year go. In between all of this good stuff there were so many crazy uphill battles. But the important part, at the end of the year, is to look back and see all of those battles fading off into the distance while these joyous moments are staring right at me in full color.

See ya around, 2014.

On to whatever is next.

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Readers: How Do You Do It?

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I mentioned recently that I really struggled to read this year. My ratio of books checked out from the library to books actually read is EMBARRASSING. In 2015 I want to get back to it, but I feel a little out of practice — you know what I mean?

I was hoping if you are a reader (and I am using that term very broadely to describe all people who read books for pleasure — there are no “number of books read” pre-requisites or anything) that you would do me a solid and answer the following questions just for fun:

1. When do you do the most reading? (Mornings, evenings, weekends only, etc)

2. Do you have reading goals or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?

3. Where is your favorite place to get book recommendations?

4. Are you a library person or do you buy most of your books?

5. Do you use an eReader/Kindle?

6. How many books, on average, do you read every year?

7. Any other helpful advice, I’m all ears!

*****

You are not being graded on this I promise, I’m just curious how you all are getting it done. :) Thanks, friends!

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