Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What’s Up Wednesday ?!?

Today I am participating in a Linky Party, hosted by Shaeffer, Shay and Mel!

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Oh man, that’s a whole lotta questions, here we go…

What we’re eating this week…

That’s a good question. I had big plans on Sunday to get meal prep done for the week and then didn’t do it.  Since I woke up Monday morning, I have been buried in work and eating anything that was easy.  So, today it is my goal to get chicken, shrimp and veggies grilled, cilantro/lime rice made and some fresh pico chopped up for burrito bowls.  Justin and I both enjoy those, so I plan to be eating those a lot for the next several days!

What I’m reminiscing about…

Well, since my friend, Kristen, just posted a picture on Facebook, I am thinking about how I competed two years ago in two figure competitions.  Wow, what a year!  There was a group of us that were all competing and got together, at least weekly, for workouts and lunches and therapy.  It was so fun and such a powerful group of women. I made friendships for life during that competition season.


What I’m Loving…

Kansas City Weather!  We have had the most beautiful weather the past two days. It rained on and off all weekend and it has made our grass and trees so happy.  Everything is lush and thick and green with life.  The sun has been shining and it’s the perfect Spring temperature.  I LOOOOOOVE IT!

What we’ve been up to…

Pretty much #runningfromsugar, our weekend staycation and the past two days PAPERWORK.  Friends, I wish I could convey in words the amount of paperwork that is required in a group home.  I mean, really, we all should keep notes on our lives the way Justin and I do for the three people in our group home.


What I’m Dreading…

I can’t really think of anything I am dreading.  I guess, kids being out of school for the summer! (isn’t that terrible!?!)  I love summer, but summer also brings all the teenagers out driving around, texting, talking on the phone and clogging up my streets. 

What I’m Working on…

Well besides group home stuff, I am working on the Girls on the Run end of season stuff. We have our practice 5k next week, so I am working on getting some items donated for goodies bags and snacks.

What I’m Excited About…

I am excited about giving all our Mom’s their Mother’s Day gifts.  I also can’t wait to share the gifts with you! (psst: you have already seen the gifts).  I am also excited about Mother’s Day weekend in general.  It’s a busy one with lots of family and friends!

What I’m Watching/Reading…

We watch Survivor and I like The Voice. Justin and I aren’t great TV watchers.  We always have the TV on but we are usually playing on our computers or reading or whatever else we can find to do while keeping one ear on a show.  Oh, two shows that we will always stop on when channel surfing: Big Bang Theory and Modern Family.  I am reading Melanie Shankle’s “Nobody’s Cuter than You”.


What I’m listening to…

In the car, I usually listen to Pandora Yoga channel or, put my iPhone Music on shuffle.  My play list for the gym is:


What I’m wearing…

These Jeans!  Still wearing them anytime I leave the house.  Did you buy them yet?  Go buy them and then leave a comment on how many times you wear them in a row. 


What I’m Doing This Weekend…

I am going to go to the Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair.  My sister, Vann, will have a booth in the fair along with other local vendors.  I went last Fall and was really impressed so I’m looking forward to going back this weekend.  If you are local, you should go too!


What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month…

I am looking forward to the Girls on the Run 5k.  I am also looking forward to attending my FIRST KC Blogger Meet Up!  I joined a local group of Kansas City bloggers and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone at next months meet up.

What Else is New…

I am going to pick up my reward for making it 10 days #runningfromsugar from Lululemon today as well as some products from Rawxies.  I learned about Rawxies at the Go Blog Social conference last month when the owner was one of the presenters. They were the first local company I thought of when seeking donations for our GOTR team goodie bags.  They immediately got back to me and were happy to donate.

I also plan to purchase one of these adorable tanks while there.


I figure if the words are printed directly on my chest, I might actually follow them!

So that’s it!

I’m off to link up on Shaeffer’s page and I hope you click on over to check out some of the bloggers that have linked up on

What’s Up Wednesday?!?

hosted by Shaeffer, Shay and Mel

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Day 10 of #runningfromsugar

Today is Day 10 of #runningfromsugar!


We made it to our first reward!

I almost let it slip by as I have been buried in paperwork since 8 o’clock yesterday morning until about 1 o’clock today!

Thankfully, Tammy posted about it on Facebook which reminded me that tomorrow I get my first reward!  I’ll be picking that up tomorrow fo sho.



What is your reward for lasting 10 days on #runningfromsugar?

Monday, April 27, 2015

KC Staycation, Westport Edition

Our Kansas City staycation was so fun this weekend!


We left our house pretty early for a Saturday and headed straight to Beer Kitchen for breakfast. One of the things I was most looking forward to, besides having a break from our group home responsibilities, was eating breakfast at new (to us) places.

Oooooh my goodness, it was so good!

There was a line when we arrived, with people waiting outside, but we managed to get seated very quickly.

The first thing Justin saw, made his mouth water, and arrived at our table shortly after being seated.

Pork Belly @ Beer Kitchen

A sizzling pan of pork belly.  Anything with the name “belly” in it creates some emotions in me immediately, but I let my piece continue to cook until it was sufficiently burned on both sides and resembled more of a texture of meat than fat.

Justin hated to see a piece get wasted on me eating it because he LOVED it!  I loved the presentation.

Justin ordered Chicken and Waffles for his main course.  It came with a side of gravy and syrup.

Chicken and Waffles @ Beer Kitchen

It was super good.  He let me have a bite!

I ordered the Black Forest Dutch Baby.  It is a baked pancake topped with black forest ham, gouda, tomatoes, a fried, runny egg and hollandaise; with a side of potatoes.

Dutch Baby @ Beer Kitchen

Oh Mama. I wanted to stay there all day and keep ordering this meal over and over.  It was so GOOD!

We headed to our hotel to check in after brunch, AC Hotel by Marriot.


Wow, not a negative thing to say about this place.  Classy, modern and super friendly!  There was plenty of parking in their private parking lot.  Upon walking in the doors, we were greeted by the General Manager who checked us in quickly, letting us know about their amenities and what was located close by in Westport to enjoy.


The rooms were modern and minimalistic.  They felt very clean and fresh (if that makes sense).  I think the floor is why I got that feeling.  There is something about not having carpet that freshens up a hotel room.  The bed was super comfy and there were two bottles of water waiting for us.

After relaxing for a bit and waiting for the rain to stop, we walked to get some lunch at The Local Pig.


It has a really cool, laid back atmosphere.  We started with drinks.  Justin ordered a Peanut Butter Stout by 4 Hands and I ordered one of their specialty cocktails, Victory Garden (cucumber, fennel, bourbon, tarragon and honey).

Drinks @ Local Pig

My drink was tasty and fresh, and basically a salad. Justin’s drink stole the show and changed my entire outlook on dark beers.  My next drink was a 4 Hands Peanut Butter Stout as was Justin’s and then they ran out.  That was probably for the best.


I also tried a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.  Also very tasty but more bitter than the peanut butter.


We thought we would start with the Charcuterie since it is a meat market.  All their meat comes from within a radius of 100 miles.

Charcuterie @ Local Pig

It was super good and gigantic! We didn’t end up ordering anything else.

We had big plans to walk around Westport, but it started to rain again, so we headed back to the room.

After a couple hours of relaxing, we were ready to get out for the night.  The plan was to have drinks and maybe a small plate at our bar and then head to Port Fonda, which has been on our radar for a while.

Ummmm, the bar tenders were so fun and the bar had such a comfortable, laid back vibe…

we never left the bar!


I was on a dark beer kick, so I stayed with it and ordered the  Buffalo Sweat, Oatmeal Cream Stout. We ordered kale chips and a salad for our small plates.


We had a great time chatting with the bar tenders and other people sitting at the bar.

Annnnnd we were asleep by about 8:30pm.

(in our room not at the bar)


Evidently, we needed some sleep.

We took our time Sunday morning and checked out at the normal hour.  It was raining, again, so we hopped in the car in search of brunch.  Parking was not happening in Westport, with how far we would have to walk in the rain, so we headed north, toward home.  We stopped at a couple places and the wait was super long.

We ended up at Trezo Mare, which we didn’t even realize had a brunch.  I’m pretty happy to learn of a new place with that option.  I ordered the biscuits and gravy with a side of scrambled eggs.  They are not your typical biscuits and gravy so that was a little weird for me.  They use an italian sausage and cheddar biscuits.  It was good just not your typical breakfast biscuits and gravy.

We arrived home

after Noon and with some very happy dogs and a cat to greet us.

I am so happy we spent the night in Westport in the AC Hotel by Marriot and ate at a couple new to us restaurants.  If you are planning a trip to Kansas City or are local and need a night out, I highly recommend staying at this hotel.

Be prepared to leave the hotel for your meals.  They do have a European-style breakfast buffet for an additional charge and small plates in the AC Lounge in the evening, but there is no actual restaurant in the hotel.  There are so many restaurants within walking distance, you won’t go hungry.

It was fun to relax with my favorite person and just get away from all our responsibilities for 24 hours.


For those that are local, where is your favorite place to eat in Westport?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Time to Check In with #runningfromsugar

Time to check in and Link Up!

Today is Day 8 of #runningfromsugar


How I am Feeling…

The past seven (7) days have been tough.  I worked out on Monday and then not again until Friday.

I felt sluggish, tired and cranky most of the week.  I also felt hungry.  Looking back, I don’t really think I was hungry.  I think I just wanted SOMETHING.  I talked about that feeling on Day Two.  It is so real and was in it’s fully glory last week.

What I am doing…

I ate more carbs than normal.  I snacked on things like popcorn (a bowl the size of an armchair) and peanut butter crackers instead of fruit.  I pretty much ate whatever I wanted.  I was so focused on NOT eating anything on my list that I didn’t really pay attention to what was actually going in my mouth.

What I am learning…

I was focused on the What and the Why from my goal poster last week.  This week I need to focus on the How.


My goals for next week…

I need to plan my meals and stick to eating them.  I need to keep track of my water intake.  I need to get to my workouts each day no matter how I am feeling. 

Now it’s your turn!

If you have a blog, let’s link up!  If you don’t, leave a comment:

  • How are feeling?
  • What are you doing to get through the headaches and crankiness of sugar withdrawal?
  • What are you learning about yourself?
  • What are your goals for next week?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Book and A Full Body

Yesterday started with the usual oats and eggs.


I also started the day reading Melanie Shankle’sNobody’s Cuter than You”.


Oh, you guys, I love this book already.  I’m on Page 16.  I love the way Melanie writes. It’s as if she is sitting with me, having a cup of coffee and telling me her story.  We are already friends and I’m on Page 16.

I also love the book because it made me think of all the friendships in my own life.  So much, that at Page 16, I put the book down and grabbed for my journal.  So many memories were flooding my brain and I wanted to write them all down.

It’s kind of sad how details start to get blurry.  I don’t want to forget.  I was moved around quite a bit so it’s kind of sad that I can’t remember some of the names of friends with whom I have fond memories.  Even more reason to start writing it all down before names and moments get even more distant.

Gym Time

We both felt really good in the gym yesterday.  I did a full body workout.


It was one of those really great days where my mind and body were on the same page.  Everything felt good.

Hope everyone had a fun Friday!

P.S. Today is Saturday, Day 7 of #runningfromsugar!  We made it ONE WEEK!


If you are struggling, know that you are not alone.  Sugar withdrawal is no joke, but we can get through it.  Tomorrow in my Linky Party post, I’ll share how I am getting through the withdrawal and I hope you will too!

Happy Saturday Folks!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Happy Friday!

Today I am linking up with Friday Favorites!

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Hosted by: Andrea, Erika and Narci

First Favorite: Distressed Jeans

(because Shaeffer is the boss of me).

HERE is her post.  This is how I like to wear them:


The shirts are all from White House Black Market, except the red cardigan and that is from Loft.  The watches are both MK via Nordstrom.  The silver and copper flats are Nurture via Dillard’s while the green flats are from Talbots.  The leather cuff is Nickel and Suede.

I was hesitant to buy them because I have never been a fan of buying jeans with holes in them or buying clothing from the “Juniors” department but I went for it and have worn them everyday since they arrived on my door step! 

Second Favorite: Back Porch

I love our screened in porch.  It is really an extension of our kitchen/dining area. Giving it a little more color and life has made it to the top of my To-Do List.  While at IKEA, I picked up the four pillow covers you see in the picture along with the fake plant in the corner.  On Wednesday, I purchased the rug at Tuesday Morning.


Next on the list, is curtains, adding more plants to the tables and some more lights.  I can’t decide if I want another lamp or some hanging globe lights. What do you think?

Third Favorite: Kallax Shelving

I am so happy with Kallax by IKEA.  They are not hard to put together and feel super sturdy.  Unlike other book cases, where you put together all four sides, then balance all the shelves on little pegs, this unit gets locked in down the middle, piece by piece, with the last two pieces being one of the sides and the bottom. There is no way that sucker is coming apart or leaning or buckling!


I bought two of each size so I’ll take pictures again once the others are put together but I LOVE these shelving units so far.  They are deep and wide, perfect for all my workouts clothes.  I can use the baskets for sports bras and socks.  The other units will be for my shorts, leggings, capris and pants.

Fourth Favorite: Weekend Getaways

Justin and I have a super fun Saturday night staycation planned this weekend.  I am absolutely grateful for our job and I love what I do, but getting away with Justin, even if it’s just one night, it something I cherish. 

In the Fall, we split our staycation between the Plaza and Crown Center.


Last month, we spent a weekend in the Power & Light District.


Stay turned for where we are going this weekend!

Oh, and don’t forget, today is…

DAY SIX OF #runningfromsugar!

I have felt sluggish and cranky this week, but I am making it!  I hope you all are doing well.  Hang in there.  Sugar withdrawal is SO REAL and the only way to get through it is to fight the cravings!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day Three of #runningfromsugar

Yesterday started with peanut butter toast and a banana.


Sara is so good.  This was as close as she got while I took about five (5) pictures,  but I know it took everything she had not to lick that peanut butter. (don’t worry she gets lots of yummy treats)


Once everyone was on their way for the day, I headed to a spin class and then stayed to lift weights.


I wore this…


Those leggings are Zella, ‘Live In’ Eclipse Space Dye (Navy).  Mine were on sale and there is no longer a link, but here is a SIMILAR pair in black.  I LOVE them.  I bought them because Shaeffer told me to in THIS POST and then in THIS POST and finally in THIS POST.  I’m glad I finally did!

As soon as I arrived home,

I got busy making a smoothie.


Later in the afternoon, I snacked on some chips and a Quest bar.


Was half of a chicken breast, a chicken thigh and Brussels sprouts salad.


Yesterday was Girls on the Run practice, but Justin hurt his back so I needed to be here to get our clients home and settled.

I had a pretty good headache in the evening.  I’m not sure if it’s the No Sugar thing or if it was a tension headache since I have a lot going on this week.  Either way, I ate some saltine crackers and drank some water and it eventually subsided.

By the way, today is Day Three of #runningfromsugar!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Day Two #runningfromsugar

Yesterday my eyeballs popped open at 6am (with a little encouragement from Sara).


Realizing it was Sunday, I tried to convince myself (and Sara) to go back to sleep.  Then, I remembered I had a lunch date, and excitement took over and I was wide awake!


I couldn’t wait to meet up with my girlfriends at Parkville Coffee House! They were hoppin’ yesterday. I love seeing that little place busy.  I enjoyed a Ginger Green Tea and the quiche of the day.

They have a nice menu.  Of course, the only thing I have ever tried was the Quiche because I love it so much.


Mary had the Frittata (she chose to have it on a bed of greens but you also have the option of having it on bread) and Kristen had the Mediterranean Chicken sandwich.  Both looked delicious and may have convinced me to try something new next time. (maybe)

We sat outside while we ate and chatted and then ventured inside to their upstairs.  The upstairs is so cute and the d├ęcor makes you feel like you have walked in to someone’s home (in the 70’s).  There are four (4) living room type sitting areas and two kitchen table areas.  A great place to get comfy and enjoy some girl talk.

Two and half hours later, I was on my way home feeling grateful for having such positive women as friends.

Yesterday was also….

Day One of #runningfromsugar


And it wasn’t too bad, in fact, it seemed pretty easy.  I think the first day excitement along with visiting with girlfriends for a chunk of the day really helped.

So much of doing something like this is just making up your mind to do it!

When I go in to competition prep, a switch gets flipped and it is what it is. There are no other options.   That’s kind of how I am treating this.  I KNOW I feel better, look better and act better (less irritable, less anxious, less snappy) with out sugar in my life.  I want that back. 

There are no other options.

It’s not realistic to say I am never going to eat a dessert again, but I just have to clean the slate, press the RESET button so to speak.  Get back to a once a week treat, instead of every day.

Having so much sugar in my diet causes me to make other poor food choices because food doesn’t taste as good when I’m overflowing with sugar. So, I eat more searching for flavor or just make junky choices because I am trying to get that sugar fix.

You know something else having so much sugar causes, that I didn’t even realize until this moment?  I spend more money!  It’s that feeling of wanting MORE of something, ANYTHING.  Hmmmm, I never really thought about it until now.  I totally do that.

Oh  my gosh, I just remembered something else.  Several weeks ago I wanted some sort of chocolate candy thing (it was probably around Easter) and Justin talked me out of it.  On the way home, I told Justin I was going to drop him off and then go shopping for some jeans.  He pointed out that he thought the only reason I felt the need to do that was because I didn’t buy that candy.  I just wanted SOMETHING!

So, today is Monday, Day #2. 

There are twelve (12) of us in this so far, including Justin and I.  I am pumped about that! 

Make sure and use the hashtag: #runningfromsugar anytime you post or comment on social media so we can all find each other easily.

How did everyone do yesterday?  Did you notice anything about your habits?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day One #runningfromsugar


The first day of


Here is my goal poster that is on my refrigerator and bathroom mirror.


As you can see, I listed the exact foods I am going to steer clear of along with why I want to do this and how I plan to do it.  I also put the start and end date for the whole challenge along with three (3) smaller goals, every 10 days, after which I will buy myself a reward.

As you can see, by the end of this I will have a new outfit from Lululemon!

I encourage you to make something like this and post it so you can SEE it.

I also encourage you to save this picture and make it your Facebook profile picture.


It will not only serve as a daily reminder to you but as a little nudge to anyone else that has been thinking they need to ease up on the sweet stuff.

So, now it’s your turn!

Share your goal, your reason, how you plan to do it and your rewards. Link up here, comment on this post, leave a comment on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #runningfromsugar.   We will link up and check in every Sunday.

Good Luck! Stay focused and keep your mind on the “whys”. We will get through the upcoming sugar withdrawal together! #braceyourself

Saturday, April 18, 2015

5 Steps to Reach a Goal

Ok, so tomorrow is the big day!

The First Day of:


Are you committed?  Are you getting your mind right?


Now that we have all decided to ditch the sugar, we need to set ourselves up for success:

5 Steps to Reach a Goal

  1. WHAT: State exactly what you want to achieve.
  2. WHY: Identify all the reasons you want this goal.
  3. WHEN: Make it measurable - Set a beginning and an end date.
  4. HOW: Identify the Action steps to reach goal.
  5. REWARD: Set up mini-goals along the way and reward yourself for achievement!

Now, write it all down, make it pretty and display it!

I’ll be making a goal poster based on my steps listed above and putting it where I can look at it every day.  I hope you’ll join me!

In preparation, our fridge is stocked with lots of veggis, lean meats, fruit and peanut butter!  Oh, and everything I need to make smoothies. I think those will be a good treat when I start to feel crazy wanting sugar.

I’ll see you back here tomorrow to LINK UP and share our goals for how we plan to kick this nasty sugar habit!