Psst. If you're still following this blog and haven't caught on yet, I have taken to liking Instagram a bit more as my social media of choice. Not a lot of Clever Betty or tutorial related posts going on lately, but if you head on over there you'll see why!

p.s. Dad, #widrn stands for "what I'm doing right now."

High Five... For the Last Five Fridays

I haven't done a high five post in five whole weeks... so really, this is just going to be one big photo dump. Here we go:

1. Got our rings dipped! We get them rhodium plated about every 8 months. And by we I mean I... hence the reason I'm also wearing Sean's ring in this pic. 2. It's screen porch weather.

3. The garden is in place... and as of today there's a lot of green growing there that wasn't when this picture was taken! 4. We celebrated my mom's birthday in downtown St. Louis at Cielo. 5. Emily got married!

6. My buds keep me company during the work day and make me laugh. 7. It's screen porch NAP weather. 8. Couldn't leave out the pics of Emily dancing with her Dad.

9. I thought blondes weren't supposed to get gray hair this young? Though I don't know if I'm considered blonde anymore. Either way, Sean made me laugh about it. 10. New drapes for our living room! We have a family room and a living room and since the tv isn't in the living room... well, it's just kind of sat there since we moved in. Feeling more like home now. 11. Sean surprised me with flowers when he knew I was having a bad day.

12. Visited this new-ish fabric and quilting shop and fell in love. 13. Really this isn't a high as in "good times," but the water was high from all the rain, and it's actually kinda pretty so I included it. This area is normally a field of grass. 14. This face! Fun to see how content little Nora is with bath time.

15. These faces! It's been nice to meet up a few times with Anna and John while she's been on maternity leave. 16. Finishing up a gallery wall in the dining room. But I've already got plans to change that yellow frame. 17. Tomatoes! Which are now in the ground in the garden you see above. Updated photos to come soon.

18. I found a new favorite tea this Spring. Harney & Sons Dragon Pearl Jasmine, which was actually a favor from Emily's wedding shower back in January. Glad I saved it til Spring! It's very floral and tasty. 19. New scarves in the shop! 20. Feeling good about putting some tricks I taught myself to good use on the ol' serger!

Confession... I am well aware of the fact that I am guilty of over-using the exclamation point. Most times when I write an email or blog I make a point to go back and edit them down to an acceptable level... but this time, I'm leaving 'em. Because really, five weeks of high fives deserves 'em!

Happy Friday, Friends!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth

Be Kind... and a Freebie

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. I've found this statement in the back of my mind quite often lately. Do you ever stop to examine how you treat the people you love and those whose paths you cross? To their face or otherwise. Because it's true, our battles may not be the same, but everyone certainly has at least one.

I definitely haven't always lived by this mentality, but as I round out the last month at age 26, I have to say I'm pretty proud that I do now. Perhaps being married to the most patient man in the world has something to do with that... plus I'm sure adding more candles to the cake year after year does too. And now I have a Jewel song stuck in my head. (FF to 1:45 for the line I'm referencing there...)

It's been a while since I've done anything typographic so I sat down this morning and created this print to share with you. It was cathARTic if you will. The watercolor wash is from Bittbox.   You can download the 8 x 10 image here.

Just 'cause you can't beat 'em don't mean you should join 'em

For someone with a pretty varied taste in music, it's no secret I like to indulge in a little pop music here and there. For instance, Taylor Swift was always one that I felt a bit guilty about until she finally joined those of us in our 20's, and I no longer feel like I'm singing along to a high schooler's diary. Except that feeling 22 song... that makes me feel old, as it apparently does for lots of other people too.

One of my most recent guilty pleasures is Kacey Musgraves. Somewhat similar to Taylor but a little deeper, and a little less nostalgic. Still country, a bit more twang, and makes me laugh. My top fave from her album:

To be fair, I did warn you... Country. Twangy. Yup. But you laughed, right? And really... the message is what makes me like it. Follow your arrow wherever it points. Simple. I think I spent a few years of high school listening to some really dumb music, and I'm making up for it at this point in my life. You should check out the rest of her album too.

TV though, well that's a different story. I've always watched some pretty trashy stuff and I don't plan to stop anytime soon. Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Teen Mom, Four Weddings. You name it... I'll probably watch it. I do enjoy many shows that require more thought, like Lost, Six Feet Under, Dexter, etc. But guilty pleasures exist for a reason.

My most recent discovery is Pretty Little Liars on Netflix. Never thought I'd like it... now I'm a whole season in and I can't stop watching. You should probably check it out. And don't ruin anything for me if you've watched further than the first few episodes of season 2!

What are your guilty music and TV pleasures? Personally I won't be enjoying tv this weekend... the weather's supposed to be perfect and my college roomie's getting married tomorrow. Can't wait! Happy Friday, friends.

Food and Fitness: What Works for Me

I know diet and weight loss is not something I talk about on this blog, pretty much ever, but it is a largely a lifestyle blog, so I'm gonna go ahead and go for it. Last week I mentioned in my High Five that I've lost some weight over the past few months. What I didn't mention is that before that, I was at my lowest weight since probably middle school before our wedding, and I consistently gained weight after. I came back from our honeymoon at least 5 pounds heavier. Maybe closer to 10... I don't really know. All I know is we ate our way down the coast of California, I no longer had to fit into my wedding dress, and I enjoyed every last glorious calorie.

So after the honeymoon I stopped weighing myself for a while, and stopped working out pretty much all together, for at least 6 months. I was in grad school and working full time... I had other priorities. I believe they call that "love weight" on that kind of post-marriage timeline.

Several unsuccessful workout attempts, zero weight lost, and months later, I finally decided that I must be consuming too much. Not exactly the wrong stuff- Sean and I have eaten a fairly healthy diet since '09 when we swore off fast food together (we've only broken this two dozen times tops since '09) and started actually cooking most of our meals. Just too much. Except the nightly bowl of ice cream. That's a habit that had to go. And I've always been a carb lover. What can I say, I love food!

So in brief, here's what I've done:
Couch to 5k training. I spread the 8 week program out over 10 weeks to prep for the Undy 5000 (which if you remember, I ran faster than I ever have before) and on days I wasn't running, I was walking for at least a half hour to total 5-6 days/week of cardio.
The Whole 30 Program. BUT. They'll kill me for saying this... I did it 85/15, meaning I didn't adhere to the rules 100% of the time. The whole idea behind the Whole 30 is to NOT cheat, so technically they'd say I wasn't following their program, but that is where I got the idea. Mostly veggies, variety in meat, lots of eggs, some nuts, some fruits, no dairy, no carbs was the basic formula I followed for that first month. A detox of sorts.

Here's what I'm doing now:
• Continue to maintain a paleo based diet 75/25. Easter brunch was part of the 25%. So was the Chinese food we ordered the night Lily died and neither of us wanted to cook. I don't think it's a bad thing to eat some greek yogurt a few days per week, or a bowl of cereal if I'm in a rush. And yes, I definitely still enjoy dessert- even the full sugar kind. Just not all the time.
• Continue to walk/run. I've never been a huge fan of running (I'd much rather be swimming) but it's free and fast. I've yet to find a pool in my area that can beat that. Most days I walk, but two days per week or so I just choose a random Couch to 5k workout to guide me.

So right now I'm still sitting at +5 from the week before our wedding. Here you don't have to do the math... that's +18 lbs in less than 18 months. Whoops. Love weight indeed. I definitely feel much healthier at this weight. When you're close to 5'10", however, (or at least for me) it takes at least 10 lbs to really notice a difference when it comes to clothing either direction. And if you don't open the scale you got as a wedding gift for 8+ months after you get married, well, out of sight, out of mind I suppose! I'm just now at the point where I might be close to going down a jean size, though I've pretty much worn the same size since high school (but maybe I shouldn't have in college... that was more like the freshman 25 for me. Story for another day!)

Hands down, working from home has been the best thing for eating well as I don't have to transport anything and have full access to my own kitchen. If you check out my "Tasties" board on Pinterest you'll find a ton of the recipes I've been enjoying lately.

My regulars:
• Sweet potato hash. Cut a sweet potato into chunks and use the shredding blade on a food processor. I do 2-3 sweet potatoes at once and save them in the fridge to saute throughout the week for breakfast.
• Blueberry turkey sausage. 1lb ground turkey, 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries, 1/4 tsp each of crushed red pepper, paprika, dried thyme, coriander, nutmeg, and pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix and roll into 10 balls and cook in a lightly oiled skillet. Leftovers can be frozen or refrigerated and microwaved.
• Eggs. Scrambled, fried, frittata, muffins, or with avocado and bacon. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. You name it. They're easy and I eat a lot of 'em.
• Cucumber, tomato, and avocado salad with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sometimes with other veggies too.
• Cauliflower. Can be used in place of (regular) potatoes for many, many recipes, but it's a veggie instead of a starch so win-win.
• Taco wraps. Beef or turkey, homemade taco seasoning, salsa, red and yellow peppers, onion, wrapped in lettuce leaves.
• Tea. Mostly decaf varieties. I love a good English breakfast (decaf or not), chamomile, green, and an awesome one I found at Whole Foods that is coconut almond macaroon flavored. Satisfying the sweet tooth right there.

What are your go to meals and/or workout routines to stay healthy?