Another Round of Whole 30! – Day 1

Happy Monday after DST, friends! Am I the only one who feels so lethargic today? Nope? Just me? Anytime the time changes, I get all out of a rut. Dono and I slept until almost 11am yesterday morning and had no concept of time all day.

Since my surgery, I’ve been complaining about wanting to get back on a good schedule of exercising and eating right again. Last week, Dono and I went to Florida for our spring vacation — which was wonderful! We spent a lot of time walking on the beach, sleeping in, and sitting in the hot tub…not to mention eating a lot of fried foods!


I’m not a particular fan of seafood or fish of any kind (i tell everyone I’m allergic even though I’m not) so whenever we go somewhere coastal, I always end up ordering a lot of chicken + a lot of food from the kids menu, since most of the seafood places we frequent don’t serve protein other than fish or seafood. So, this coupled with a lot of beer and fun tropical drinks have made me crave veggies again.

Last summer I started the Whole 30 but never finished it. I went on a weekend girls trip with my mom and ruined it as soon as I saw the fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Now that my surgery and spring break is over, I don’t have any excuses, trips, or special occasions for the next 30 days. (You can read about my previous Whole 30 attempts HERE, HERE, and HERE, and HERE.

I’m ready to start this process over again, and I think I’ll be successful! Here’s what I had to eat today (Day 1)

Breakfast: Strawberry, Banana, Spinach, Kale Smoothie (included flaxseed)

Lunch: mini meatloaves and mashed potatoes (i needed a veggie, but didn’t have any on hand as I wasn’t very prepared)

Dinner: compliant Taco Bowls

Here’s to another round of Whole 30!

Fixer Upper

In case you’re wondering how my surgery recovery is going….it’s going! Last week I had my follow up appointment, and everything is on point. I’m recovering well, and I’ve even lost about 6 pounds! Hopefully this low fat/no fat diet I will have to be on will help me in the future, too. Every day the pain gets a bit more manageable, and I’m able to bend over a bit further (which will be good when I start shaving my legs again! Ha!) Although yesterday I had quite the episode at the grocery store.

My husband and I went to Walmart to pick up our weekly groceries. I felt fine all morning, but when we got to the cash register, I suddenly got really hot and sweaty and knew something was wrong. I went to sit down on a bench nearby, and soon enough I passed out. The paramedics were called, and I took a trip to the ER to find out that everything is fine – I just had a vasal vagal episode. Basically….I just passed out for no random reason. This has never happened before so it was quite a bit scary for me, and for Dono, but after hours of xrays, EKGs, blood tests, etc – I’m all normal! Hopefully that will never happen again!

Anyways…on to my real post. Ever since we moved into our new house in November, Dono and I have been obsessed with watching Property Brothers & Fixer Upper on HGTV. I’ve always wanted the chic, modern farmhouse look, but never had the furniture to style our house that way. For one, all my furniture is hand-me-downs from my grandparents, and for two) decorating is expensive!

A few weeks ago, I got the idea to restyle one of our existing bookcases into something a little bit more farmhouse style.


I drove up to the antique mall in Denton to buy some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (which was quite expensive by the way) and got to work on the bookshelf. First I removed the shelves and painted the outside of the bookshelf in Pure White by Annie Sloan. Then, I let Dono go to town, and he replaced the back of the bookshelf with pallet wood he found at his office. Then he painted the shelves, and into the house it went! And I LOVE it! Now we are talking about redoing the TV stand to match.

One thing we didn’t do is buy the Annie Sloan soft wax to finish out the project. I’m sure eventually we’ll have wished that we did, but for now its not so bad. The wax supposedly protects the paint from peeling off or chipping and makes for a nice glossy finish, but eh – I like it how it is.

Next on Dono’s to-do list for building/creating is to make us a desk/office space, a dining room table, and nightstands for our bedroom. He’s going to be quite busy! Once I’m able to move around even more and can actually lift heavy things, I’m sure I’ll be helping him!

Post Gallbladder Removal Recovery Update

Hey Everyone! Greetings from the couch!

If you remember, last week or so I posted about my gallbladder issues. Well, my time finally came, and my gallbladder removal was scheduled for Friday, Feb 6th. I couldn’t eat anything after midnight on the 5th, which wasn’t a problem because I don’t really eat that late anyway. I took my time Thursday night showering, shaving my legs, taking off toenail polish, and getting good and lotion-ed up.

On Friday morning, I woke up about 7 to shower. I couldn’t wear deodorant, lotion, or makeup, so getting ready was a breeze! No breakfast for me either which was unfortunate because I was starving! My mom showed up about 7:45, and the three of us drove down to the medical center for my 9am arrival time.

They sure didn’t waste any time either! First thing, we checked in and paid another deposit for the surgery ($$$), and then I was whisked off by another nurse for height, weight, blood pressure, and urine sample. Let’s just say that my BP was extremely high. Cough*165*Cough. What can I say? I was extremely nervous and scared,but ready to have it all over.

Dono came back with me and helped me get changed into my gown and ugly surgery socks and we waited for the nurse to come in and start getting me hooked up to IVs. My room became a buzz of activity with more folks poking and prodding me, taking more BP, and asking me my name and date of birth every 5 seconds. An anesthesiologist came in and gave me an “Abdominal Tab” where essentially they gave me 3-4 shots in my abdomen which help them see where the nerves are. I guess this cuts down on recovery pain.

My mom then came back to say goodbye to me, and all I wanted to do was cry I was so scared and nervous. I guess the doctor’s sensed that because the next thing I knew, they rolled me into the surgery room and I fell asleep really fast. The last thing I remember was the nurses talking about another nurse’s bad hair day. Ha!

Post surgery, I woke up in recovery to see my mom and Dono sitting in my little room. It made me so happy to see them, but i was SO tired. and nauseous. and in pain. I sat there for a little bit before the nurse told me I could go home whenever I wanted. My mom helped me change into my pajamas and helped me walk around a few feet, which immediately made me nauseous. This is going to be TMI, but the vomit was straight vile. I had never thrown up that much vile before. EEK. Gross. I got in a wheelchair, and then Dono drove home. With my organs sloshing about I got sick in the car a few more times on the way home (and even now the thought of riding in a car makes me nauseous).

As soon as we got home, I wanted to see a picture of my gallstones. (Warning, gross pic ahead)


See that gold golf ball? That is one of my gallstones! Apparently there were a few of them that size, and then a bunch of little ones. EEK! No wonder I was in so much pain! If I knew they were this big all along, I probably would have been screaming for surgery much earlier! One thing that was interesting, was that the doctor told Dono that apparently I was having an attack going into surgery because when they pulled out the gallbladder, the stone was already blocking the duct. Yikes!


I feel like I look pretty good for just having surgery! Dono and my mom tucked me into bed as soon as we got home, but I really wasn’t tired at that point, and I was afraid if I took a nap, I’d be up all night. I did watch tv for a bit, ate some soup for dinner, and called it a night about 8pm.

Since Friday, recovery has been pretty slow. My mom left to go back to FL on Monday morning, and Dono stayed home from work then, but I’ve been by myself at home since Tuesday. I’m ready to get back on a normal schedule! Last night I had a mini breakdown because I’m so frustrated — frustrated that I can’t sleep on my side. That i can’t eat normal food. that I have to race to the bathroom so frequently. that dono has to sleep in another bed for a few days. That I can’t lift anything heavy, do laundry, or anything. I basically sit all day. It’s so boring! I have had some great friends gift me with amazon giftcards for books, beautiful flowers, and other nice things, which i’m so grateful for.

Tomorrow i have my follow up appointment where the doctor will take off my bandage. I’m quite nervous as stitches make me queasy, but hopefully it will all be ok!

Thanks everyone for keeping me in your prayers and sending positive thoughts!

Grilled Cheesus

Last weekend, Dono and I made the trek to Oak Cliff to to try out a new restaurant – Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.


[Image is from D Magazine, Side Dish Blog]

A few weekends ago, I was in Bishop Arts with my friend Meredith, when we stumbled upon the restaurant. Much to our chagrin, it was not yet open. Sad day. So when I saw on Facebook it had finally opened, I knew we had to try it!

Well…to be honest…we actually tried to go the weekend before for lunch with another friend, but the restaurant was having some water heater troubles and closed for lunch. As disappointed as we were, we waited out and finally got to go last weekend.

We showed up about 1pm on a Sunday afternoon – hoping we would miss the church crowd. We were wrong. This place was PACKED. The hostess told us the wait for 2 people was over an hour and a half. SERIOUSLY! We decided to wait it out because there weren’t too many people waiting and figured most of them left to go to other restaurants in Bishop Arts.

Luckily, 2 spots opened up at the bar, and we snagged them before anyone else. Since we had had a few too many margaritas the night before, we opted not to have any alcohol, but other than beer and hard liquor drinks, there were a couple cheeky mixed drink options that looked pretty good.

We started off with the Fried Mozz – Aka: Fried Mozarella. It was dang good. But really, can you even mess up fried cheese?

For lunch, I ordered the JK’s Favorite sandwich. I don’t know who JK is, but the sandwich was tasty. It was American, Cheddar, and Gruyere cheese, bacon, and dijon mustard on a parmesan crusted sourdough. YUM. I also ordered the fries.

Dono ordered the Spicy Two-Pork and Cheese sandwich which was ham, bacon, swiss and cheddar, with honey compound butter and spicy jam on a grilled sourdough bread. I didn’t taste his, but he said it was delicious. He ordered chips.

While the food was really good, it was also a huge portion. Between the sandwich and fries, I couldn’t eat it all and had to take a to-go box home. I really wanted to order the JK Sweet Grilled Cheese (grilled brioche, peanut butter/cream cheese/honey mix, banana slices, marshmallows, and hazlenut spread), but alas, there was no room left in my belly. May be for the next trip!

Overall, I definitely would go back to visit. While the service was a bit slow and the place was packed, its obvious people from around the city are all wanting to check it out. I probably won’t return though until its been open for while, mainly because it is so far from our house now. Hopefully we’ll be able to return soon!

8 Month Hiatus….and I’m Back!

I can’t believe it has been 8 months since I last blog posted. So much stuff has happened in this 8 months, and instead of filling you in within one long post, I’ll try to break it up a bit. One of the things I want to post about today, is my new found love hate for my gallbladder. I wasn’t going to post about this, but I want to now. When I was in the throes of pain and agony, it would have been helpful to read about someone else’s experience with gallstone pain, and there really isn’t that much out there on the interwebs…unless you’re looking for a homeopathic way to cure them. (Just FYI, those ways don’t work. Trust me.)


This all started back in October. We had just come home from Renaissance Festival in Houston — my husband’s favorite birthday activity — when I had trouble falling asleep due to, what felt like, stiff muscles in my back. I took some Advil, and my husband massaged my back for a bit, and eventually it went away in about an hour. I didn’t think anything else about it.

Then, about a month later, we had moved into our new house, and started experiencing this pain again, except it was a million times worse! The pain always occurred in the middle of the night, and originated in my chest area (felt like horrible heartburn) and slowly migrated to my upper back, between my shoulder blades. It honestly felt like someone was trying to take my skin from my back and wrap it around my front. (Horrible imagery, I know). The pain was so bad and lasted so long (3+ hours) that I would spend an hour or so retching in the bathroom. There was no position that was even remotely comfortable. All I could do was sit and cry until the pain went away. I never went to the emergency room, though, because I thought it was just the food I was eating.

Well, after about a month of these episodes occurring anywhere from 1x to 3x per week, I had enough and called my GI doctor. She came to the conclusion that it just might be bad heartburn/acid reflux, so she prescribed me Prilosec. While I felt like an old lady buying this at Walgreens, I was hopeful it might help. She also requested for me to do a blood test and then sent me to another lab to have an ultrasound done, just to make sure something else wasn’t wrong. My blood test came back with flying colors. My ultrasound? Not so much.

I received a call from the doctor the same day I did my ultrasound telling me that my gallbladder was full of gallstones. What was strange, though, was that the lining of the gallbladder, and the gallbladder itself were normal in appearance, size, shape, thickness, etc. At that point, she told me to eat cleaner, healthier meals, track my food, try to exercise more, and see if anything helped.She also said not to go to the ER unless the pain lasted longer than 8 hours. Um. WHAT!? That is SO long to sit in pain!!!!

Nothing worked. I was still waking up at all hours of the night in severe pain, throwing up, and angry. Angry that my body wasn’t normal. Angry that I was waking up my husband when he deserves a good night’s rest, too. Angry that I couldn’t control the pain or predict when it would happen. The pain continued to come and nothing could stop it. I tried almost every recommendation I read online to eating foods good for the liver, apple cider vinegar shots, etc. Nothing worked. I just kept trying to hold out for surgery or some other relief. BTW – never search #gallstones on instagram…especially if you’re eating lunch.

At my next follow up appointment, I told the Doctor that my episodes were not getting better, and in fact, seemed to be getting worse. She told me that it was probably time for it to be taken out surgically and gave me the name and number of a few reputable surgeons they work with.

I met with the surgeon yesterday, who also confirmed the need for removal. There is a new type of procedure that instead of creating 4+ incisions, they can pull the gallbladder out in 1 incision — making the surgery practically scarless! (the incision is made just below the belly  button). My surgery is scheduled now, and I’m excited…and terrified. Excited because I’m anxious to live a live without pain. But terrified because, well, no one wants to have surgery. I just have to keep reminding myself that the pain after surgery won’t be nearly as bad as the pain that wakes me up at night. And that all modesty will be going out of the window once they inflate me with gas. I’ve already apologized to my husband in advance for the amount of gas I’ll be releasing in the days following the surgery. #Awkward.

So that’s where I am now. 7 days until my surgery. I just continue to hope and pray that I don’t have any episodes between now and then. The surgeon prescribed this muscle relaxer-type medication for me to take when I do have another episode…but according to other patients, it has a 50/50 chance of working. Lovely. One thing that is helpful to me now is hearing the stores of SO many of my friends and family who have also dealt with this issue. Gallbladder removal is so common these days, but no one talks about it. I’m thankful for those who have been willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Bad Blogger – Tsk Tsk

Y’all. I’ve been such a horrible blogger lately. Forgive me?

I feel like my life is kind of in a “boring” stage lately. Dono and I are saving for a house…like hardcore. So every paycheck is going into savings. While this is a good thing in the long run, it sucks because all traveling and things that cost money are on hold right now. On the weekends, we are taking it easy – mainly laying out by the pool – since everything else cost money. Not to mention, by the time the work week is over, we’re so tired, we just want to catch up on sleep. During the week, its, wake up – go to work – go to the gym – fix dinner – watch an hour of tv/read – go to bed …. rinse repeat.


As far as food and exercise go…other than my Whole 30 fail – I’m doing pretty decently. We did recently purchase a Sam’s Club membership on Zulily for half the cost – so we’ve been buying chicken and some veggies in bulk to make for lunches during the week. Also, I’m still hitting up spin class every Wednesday. I’ve started to make some friends there, so its fun to see them each week. If those women went to spin everyday, I’d probably go to just to hang out with them! BUT – it makes Wednesday nights special to see them. We are all encouraging of each other, and whine together when we have to increase gears or “run” on the bike. I had taken a short hiatus after our last 5k due to some strained muscles, but its time I really start getting back into it again. If I’m going to run a half marathon this year, I’ll never complete it by only spin cycling 1x/week!

I promise I’ll be better about blogging – I just need to come up with good ideas for topics!Anyways – what are y’all up to this summer?

An Epic Whole 30 Fail

So…I’m going to take a pause here and let you go ahead and say “I told you so” to me.




done? Ok.

Let’s talk about my epic Whole 30 fail. I did really great last week. I consistently ate Whole 30 approved meals Monday- Friday. I’ll take that as a win. But Friday is when things started to go downhill, and I just lost control. Not in a horrible way – I’m not downing cookies/ice cream/brownies or anything like that…but definitely not eating Whole 30 approved meals.

Here’s what happened:

I was actually doing really great until Friday. I was over the first “hump” – my caffeine headaches had subsided and I was actually enjoying the foods I was eating. I still felt really exhausted at night, but I had read that this was normal. On Friday, my mom and I left for a mother/daughter trip to Bandera, Texas to the Dixie Dude Ranch  for Mother’s Day weekend. Donovan and his dad were going to Scarborough Fair in Waxahachie, which is not my favorite type of festival ( love you, honey!) – so I was glad to spend a bit of time with my mom.


On the way down to Bandera (about a 5 hour ride) I snacked on Lara Bars and water. For lunch, we ate a local San Marcos cafe, and I had a hamburger (no bun or cheese or sauce) with sweet potato fries. Dinner? Not so great. We arrived at the Dude Ranch and I was starving. What we didn’t know is that the dude ranch served meals community-style, so the cooks prepared huge pots of food that we would pass around the table. Friday night was fried fish. Ugh. I don’t like fish to begin with, so my mom and I told the cooks we would prefer something different- preferably chicken. I guess we should have specified we wanted baked/grilled chicken because we ended up with chicken fried steak and fried chicken. If you’ve ever been to Bandera, you know there is absolutely nothing there (it is a 1 stop light town, not even a McDonald’s!) – so it was either eat what I was served or starve.

dixie 2

On Saturday morning, the cooks served pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Another no-no. I tried to just eat the sausage and fruit, but it wasn’t enough to hold me over so I wound up eating a pancake. For lunch? Chicken spaghetti. No other options. Dinner? An old fashioned BBQ. This was a bit better since I could just eat meat, veggies, and fruit. Saturday night we went out to the 1 bar in Bandera after the rodeo and I had a beer. ONE beer. On Sunday we had scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast with fruit. Also, not a horrible option. Lunch? Fried chicken. One thing I will say about the food at the Dixie Dude Ranch….it was FANTASTIC!

Sigh. This is where it goes downhill.

After we left Bandera on Sunday, we spend the night in San Antonio on the Riverwalk. We saw the Alamo and walked around the Riverwalk for awhile before sitting down to 2 (!!) margaritas, chips and guacamole, and later, an oatmeal raisin cookie from the hotel concierge floor.


By the time I got back home on Monday afternoon, I had not meal planned for the week, so Dono and I went out for dinner. And I didn’t get to the grocery store until Tuesday. Without having a plan, I picked out easy, cheap meals for us this week, and unfortunately they were not Whole 30  compliant.

So how do I feel about this now? Not awesome. I tried my best to eat Whole 30 compliant while on our trip, but it was nearly impossible. I didn’t want to be the person that sent back food because it was cooked in vegetable oil vs coconut oil or something so ridiculous, so I just made the weekend with my mom count. I’m so far off track now that I’d have to start over anyway. The whole point of the Whole 30 is to eat like this for 30 consecutive days…not to start and stop on and off.

I do want to give the Whole 30 another try, but will have to wait a bit before trying again. I’m still eating fairly clean, but I’ve added skim milk, peanut butter, yogurt, and brown rice back into my diet. Those are not horrible foods. They’re just not Whole 30 compliant.