Interior Decorating (Help me)

Gavin and I put my dresser together on Monday and now that all my clothes are tucked away nicely, my room is almost functionally ready! I just need to figure out the plug-in situation and I’ll be good to go. Now I just need some help with the decorating.

Here’s what I have so far:

IMG_4084The corner to the right of my window will be my work station since it’s so bright. The room is huge so I’m actually going to scoot the table out a few feet, put the extension in, and put the chair back in the corner. Then I can sit behind the desk and tell people to “step into my office…” haha! P.S. Those two huge bags are clothes I’m ditching. Woohooo!

IMG_4085My little twin bed is tucked cozily into the little nook where the ceiling slants down. On the wall above it, I hung my umbra flowers. They sort of fan out as the wall gets bigger and it looks really pretty. All I need is a night stand and this corner of the room is done!

IMG_4087At the foot of the bed is my snazzy new dresser and my crappy plastic one (full of workout clothes and sweats). That elephant poster says, “you’re kind of a big deal” and I think that’ll be a great thing to wake up to every morning.

IMG_4088My friends in Billings are giving me a beautiful mirrored vanity that I’ll set up here so I can do my hair and make up in my own room. I’ll pair the vanity with this chair my sister found for me:

IMG_4083It’s beige with metallic gold embroidery and ornately carved legs. So beautiful! So that corner is just about done too!

Here’s an overview of the whole room so you can get an idea of how all the pieces fit together.

IMG_4090Now here’s where you come in! All the corners and walls are essentially done, with the exception of needing a few more art pieces, but I need some ideas for the middle. It’s hard to tell in this picture but the room is huge and the entire center of it is just empty.

Tap dance studio? Pool table? Put-put golf? I need your help here!!

 

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Natural Grocers and Dream House Game

Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon with my cousin Phoebe and we had a great day! I was craving a smoothie from Starbucks, so we headed there first. Their Vivanno Chocolate smoothie has an entire banana, protein powder, milk, and a a little chocolate syrup in there. Not too unhealthy!

IMG_6086After enjoying our drinks we headed to Natural Grocers so I could pick up a few things. Phoebe has been telling me to go there for ages, and I fell in love one step inside the door. They have tons of organic produce, as well as a plethora of fun treats that fit any dietary restriction you could imagine.

IMG_4063Not to mention great prices and tons of sale items! I scored an organic lamb curry meal for only 2 bucks! I also picked up a gluten free ginger cookie to enjoy for breakfast this morning.

IMG_4069It was soooooo delectable. I microwaved it for 30 seconds and it tasted like a homemade cookie fresh out of the oven. Best breakfast ever!!! Well, maybe not ever, but it was a fun treat. And only $1.50! I’m definitely planning to do all my grocery shopping at Natural Grocers from now on.

Once we were done obsessing over food (haha) we headed back to Phoebe’s house for a while to catch up on some Kardashian episodes. It’s both our guilty pleasure…I know, I know. Dinner was a classic favorite of mine, Mackenzie River!

IMG_4068We split a gluten free Cottonwood pizza, which has chicken, garlic, basil, mushrooms, and tomatoes. A small is the perfect size for two people and it tasted like heaven.

IMG_4067We parted ways around 10pm when I needed to do some homework and go to bed! This morning I woke up at 6:30 so I could get out for a walk before the heat of the day made it impossible. When I walk I like to play a game, I try to find a house that’s as close as possible to my dream house.

I’ve always been in love with southern plantation homes.

5-quintessential-little-rock-homesThose big white columns and huge lawns…I have never seen a style of house I loved more!! This morning’s winner of closest match was:

IMG_4070Cute house, right?! I could easily make that work!

Do you have a type of dream house? Is it modern or classic? 

What’s your favorite grocery store chain? 

The Elimination Diet

I just had my second appointment with my acupuncturist and am very pleased with the progress I’m making! Last night I walked two miles pretty quickly and it felt good to engage my leg muscles again.

To flush out the extra inflammation in my abdominal region, my acupuncturist suggested I do the elimination diet. Sounds scary right? It kind of is!

scared-face-oElimination diet rules and guidelines:

Foods included:

Fruit: blueberries and pears

Grain: rice

Meats: chicken, turkey, and lamb

Veggies: any except eggplant, tomato, potato, peppers

Spices: salt, herbs, olive oil

Beverages: water, herbal tea

Avoid: sugar, caffeine, alcohol, additives, wheat, dairy, soy, corn, eggs 

tumblr_mj81ysitmS1ql5yr7o1_400Steps:

-For two weeks include the above foods only.

-On day 15 introduce 1 of your avoided foods. Eat that food for 1/2 day and then return to the normal elimination diet for 3 days. If no symptoms occur, you can incorporate that food back into your diet.

-On Day 19 introduce a new food and repeat these steps, continuing until you’ve hopefully found your triggers.

*********

I’m a little uneasy about this. My first concern is that I won’t be able to get enough calories in a day if all I can eat are these limited foods. I guess I could have a bowl of pears and blueberries for breakfast, turkey and lettuce wraps for lunch, and chicken and rice with veggies for dinner…but that’s all very low calorie. Getting too thin won’t help anything!

Also, the social aspect of it. I guess if I go out to eat I can just order a bowl of chicken and rice. Or a salad without dressing.

I think I’m going to do it for two weeks to see if I notice a change, and if not I’ll stick with my normal diet. I just spent 50 dollars on groceries so I’ll finish those up before I start. Wish me luck!!

tumblr_m96mmiKn4z1ql5yr7o1_500

Decadent French Toast Topper

Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had in a while! I got some work done in the morning and then my friend Gavin picked me up for lunch at 12:30. We headed to El Cazador since I’ve been craving Mexican food like crazy, and it was delicious!

ElCazador-BOM2012That guy wasn’t there though. Sad day. I had a bean enchilada on a corn tortilla with some rice, yum 😀 After lunch we walked around downtown for a while before stopping at the Big Dipper for ice cream.

BigDipper2copyrightmargaretdewilliamhorton-300x200This place has some of the best ice cream around and if you walk by around 7 or 8 on a summer night, you wouldn’t believe how long the line is. Luckily we didn’t have much of a wait at all and I got my white chocolate oreo scoop in a snap!

Around 3:30 Gavin and I met up with some of his friends from the football team along with some of their sisters/girlfriends/friends who are girls, ect. We floated on the river (I’m not sure which river it was…hmmm…) for a few hours just enjoying the sun and the cool water. There’s really no better way to spend a summer afternoon than being lazy on a river.

clarks-fork-river01All the boys had to be back for football practice at 6, so I went home to make myself dinner. Organic beef, roasted sweet potato, and peas were on the menu. I was super hungry and everything tasted great!

IMG_4055After I ate and showered, Gavin came back over and we watched “The Intouchables” on Netflix. It’s in French with subtitles so you have to pay attention, but this is an awesome movie. I was laughing SO hard at some parts and crying at others. Watch it!!

The-Intouchables-French-Movie-PosterThe fun continued today when I took the girls to the library and met them for lunch at the Tamarack with their mom, Jill. I had a salmon caesar without croutons and left happy.

lThe rest of the day has been spent doing homework, lounging around, and waiting for it to cool off a little so I can go on a walk. I wanted to share a little recipe I accidentally came up with for dinner tonight, though.

I had french toast with my gluten-free bread and was going to top it with strawberries and some marionberry syrup. Well, I over microwaved the strawberries and they got mushy and runny, so I just mixed two tablespoons of syrup right in!

IMG_4060The result was a decadent topping for my french toast. Um, yum! Just microwave 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries for 2 minutes, then stir in any fruit syrup of your choice. Pour over two slices of french toast and enjoy!

Summer Leisure

Yesterday was a great day! Nannying was a blast as the girls were super excited for the big BBQ they were having at their house later that night. I had to make sure the house and yard stayed shiny and clean, so we did lots of crafts and also some baking!

IMG_4040That was messy, but it was so much fun I didn’t mind cleaning it up. The girls got to mix the dough with their hands which they thought was pretty much the best thing ever. I managed to finish the cookies without eating the majority of the batter…win!

My ‘work’ day ended around 4pm and I swung by the Good Food Store to pick up a goodie that Food Farm doesn’t offer.

IMG_4041My friend Faith suggested I try going gluten free for a while and see what happens with my stomach. Her daughter, Hannah, had very similar symptoms to me that were completely resolved when she gave up gluten. I have to admit I’ve been a little judge-y of the vast amounts of people swearing off gluten, but if there’s a chance it will work I have to try! For 5.99 a loaf this stuff is bound to do something.

At six I picked up my grandmother and we drove to Bonner Park to enjoy some opening night concerts of the international choral festival.

IMG_4044The festival boasts choirs from Australia to Japan and everywhere in between, and is designed as a way for different cultures to bond over music. It was a perfect evening to be outside, listening to great music, and enjoying summer.

IMG_4045Once the concert ended, I planned to meet up with my friend Jordan at Starbucks before catching a late showing of White House Down. However, we didn’t know there were two Starbucks in town so we sat alone and enjoyed beverages while waiting for the other to show up.

IMG_4047I finally texted her and asked if there were two..haha! Oops! At least I got some fancy water out of it.

White House Down was really really good! So much better than I expected it to be.

white-house-down-poster07It wasn’t just 2 minutes of back story followed by 2 hours of shooting. There was a lot of suspense, behind the scenes action, family relationships, and a great script. If you wrote this movie off as a cheesy action movie and haven’t seen it, I’d suggest giving it a try!

Do you know anyone who is gluten free? Has it eliminated any negative symptoms for them? 

What is your favorite type of movie? 

Meal Planning

I love to stay organized when I’m planning out my food, especially when I’m super busy. If you get home from a long day and you’re starving, unhealthy choices are bound to be made if something healthy isn’t already on the menu.

Cereal….you’re calling to me….

tumblr_lvm7t1Q8XC1qasauvo1_r1_500So today when the girls had a two hour day camp, I took the opportunity to do some meal planning and grocery shopping. I just love grocery shopping! I wanted to go to the Good Food Store but I’m much too broke for that, so Food Farm it was.

432355_392309924132043_218945600_nThey still have all the organic produce and meat I need, just much cheaper. Alright! Here was my list:

Bananas, strawberries, nectarines, blueberries, sweet potato, onion, avocado, bell pepper, chicken, beef, salsa, wheat-free tortillas, lunch meat.

And here’s my meal plan:

Tonight: Chicken caesar salad with hard boiled eggs.

Wednesday: Hamburger patty with sweet potato fries and peas

Thursday: Grilled tilapia with avocado and bell pepper side salad.

Friday: Caramelized onions and chicken stir fry with a side caesar salad and the rest of the sweet potato fries.

tumblr_mosk7uC7qD1rm9va6o1_500I don’t plan out my lunches as much, but I don’t usually have trouble coming up with something healthy and delicious. I’m lucky too because the family I nanny for also eats nutritious food so I don’t need to pack a lunch.

Do you meal plan? What’s one of your favorite healthy meals? 

Figuring This Out

I’m supposed to be giving up inflammatory foods, so first up on the chopping block (to see if it works) are coffee and grains. However…there have been some major stumbling blocks.

I tried quitting coffee cold turkey, but my body is used to 3-5 cups per day. That’s a lot. I almost fell asleep driving to work and now I’m starting with 1 cup a day and going to ween off from there. I’m still feeling pretty sluggish though.

tumblr_moecop4HiL1rg91j0o1_500Grains are easily 20x harder. I have three bagels and an entire batch of pasta in my fridge that I can’t decide if I should throw away or keep….

Plus, tonight, after swearing I was done with carbs for a while, I opened up the cabinet and…

tumblr_ltp2cdShTF1qacyf8o1_500I was starving. It was hot. There was cereal. Lord help me.

This is going to be a challenge.