May 29, 2013

The boys and I spent Memorial Day weekend mostly poolside.  Between soccer and baseball end of season parties and my insistence that we all needed some Vitamin D, we blew through a bunch of sunscreen.  And I *might* have popped more than one Prosecco cork into a handful of local pools.  I am an equal opportunity celebrator.


I hit up Trader Joes in a big way on Memorial Day, but I was true to my Omni plan.  That sourdough baguette tried to kill me, but I passed.  Perhaps I was more motivated by the fact that I bought shorts that morning at Old Navy and I promise you they are not cute on me.  Yet.


You'd think that the children would have appreciated this effort more than they did.  Oh wait.  No effort because I stink at baking.  It's comical actually.  This was all I could muster.  I absolutely ate spoonfuls of berries and cream.  Can't lie.


ORANGE you glad this morning was the last day of school?  I was.  Kinda.  I love the routine, but since I went back to work, I am much more appreciative of mornings where I am the only one who needs to be functioning, albeit in pajamas, but functioning.  We absolutely allowed them to have orange soda and munchkins for breakfast, and I assure you it was well received.

 The First Day/ Last Day pics crack me up.  When your children are wrapping up 6th and 4th grades, there isn't much difference from start to end.  But I took the ubiquitous pics for posterity.  And/or to harass them.  Your choice.


Welcome to Summer!

May 22, 2013

Omni

My sweet historian friend Brandi asked me to post about what I have been eating for the last month.  Wow, just typing that I have been doing this for a month (as of yesterday) is pretty legit.

Let me start by saying, I am not an expert at nutrition, or health or whatnot.

I am absolutely an expert at lip gloss, big hair and sass.  WORK IT OUT.

I bought the Omni Diet book by Tana Amen, RN at Target after reading an interview that she was featured in.  I am not a picky eater, and I am not known to miss a meal, but I needed to be more intentional about what I was eating.  I was tired of thinking about food all the time and knowing that I wasn't making great choices.  I feel (felt?) tired like most of us do with kids and school and work and life and staring at 40.  Ok, I know lots of you aren't staring at 40, but I know you're exhausted.  Don't lie to me. 

I've posted lots of pictures and recipes on my Instagram (@clemsongirl98) and the book site has a million links and ideas too.  If you're game, I'd say spend the $15 and buy the book. 

I also have been interested in making some adjustments to try and reduce (eliminate?) my migraines.  They have been so much better over the past couple of years as a result of medication and Botox.  Yeah, I got Botox twice in my forehead over the past 15 months. I am not embarrassed to admit that, in fact, I can't wait to get it again.  It cut my migraines by more than half in addition to softening the lines on my forehead.  Don't get me wrong, I can still move my eyebrows and the boys can tell for sure when I am angry.  I will always need the ability to make the Mean Mommy face, even when they are grown. 
Which they practically are, but that's a post for another day.

The Omni Diet is 70% plant and 30% protein.  That's a marketing wizard's way of saying: no carbs, no dairy, no gluten.  But in reality, it's been great.  I am 4 weeks into this plan and I have lost 8 pounds.  I have not stuck to it 100%, because I still put creamer in my coffee and I still drink.  (Sidenote: I didn't drink for many many years after the boys were born, now I am all BRING ON THE COCKTAILS and I promise you, it's better for everyone.  Takes the edge off...well a  little.)  I also use several ingredients that contain gluten, because I had them on had.  I couldn't justify buying gluten free mustard when I had regular on hand, but I will likely buy the "approved" kind when I run out. 

Of course I started the process with lists and spreadsheets, but that's just because I am a super nerd.  Yeah, I will email them to you if you want.  I made a meal plan and a grocery list by recipe, so there's that level of geekiness here.  The first couple of weeks I made most of the recipes on Sunday night and premeasured the ingredients for the things I couldn't make in advance.  As I have gotten more comfortable and it feels more intuitive, I have been (slightly) less structured about that. 

Easy to follow, assuming you aren't a picky eater and you love vegetables.  I haven't really "missed" anything, but I do plan on enjoying pizza on our beach trip coming up.  I haven't been hungry for lack of options, but I have allowed myself to go too long between meals/snacks and then needed to eat ASAP, but nothing new there.  It's probably not for everyone, but ...

Smoothies are a big part of the plan.  I made the mistake of adding cucumber to my first one and almost died of the taste.  I love cucumber, but it's all I could taste.  I have since learned to skip the cuc and double up on the other veggies.  You totally can't taste the spinach and even the small amount (1/2 cup) of fruit makes the smoothies an easy favorite for me. 

 This picture, although kind of odd looking is another favorite.  Artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, jicama, roasted reds and chicken.  Done and done.  I'd eat it 3 meals a day if I could.  Oh wait.  I do sometimes.


 One thing I am not great at is portions, I think as a woman you're supposed to have 3-4 ounces of lean meat, but let's be serious.  I am hungry and it's flank steak.  Do what you need to do.  Hard boiled eggs are a staple too, which 10 year old Jack and I fight over when they are in the fridge. 


Breakfast is not hard because of my adoration of all things eggs and egg adjacent, but I did make this gluten free blueberry French Toast with honey and fresh nutmeg twice.  It was awesome, although gluten free bread slices are roughly the size of a playing card.  That's a salad plate, and the portion calls for just 1 piece so ... See why I have only lost 8 lbs? Could be more but then I would be CRANKY and HANGRY and everyone would suffer.  I bet my white jeans would fit better though.  Of course, by "fit better" I mean actually zip.  But it's not Memorial Day yet anyway.


Fresh herbs, avocado and egg.  You can't really go wrong there.  Lots of egg whites and one whole egg.  I am not sad about that breakfast, at all!


Let's be very clear.  While I have drastically cut back on my coffee habit/addiction, I am still rocking the morning cup and the Traditional 3pm Strategic Caffeination.  I don't hate myself enough to cut it out completely.  I was so very moved by the Boston Dunkin Donuts being open during the bombings and search that I have been loving on some iced nonfat sugar free coconut a couple of times a week. 

 

Trail Mix has been my go to snack along with veggies and hummus.  Raw almonds, cashews, cacao nibs, goji berries (Whole Foods) and coconut.  Sometimes some cranberries too.  I mean, 2 Tablespoons isn't much, but it works.  I keep it in a tupperware so it's always handy. 


 I wouldn't be a Georgia Grilling Girl if I didn't throw some kabobs on too.  This one is chicken, zucchini and mushrooms.  Millions of options, but this one was easy.


Without question this "scampi" has been my favorite.  Coconut milk (it's in every Ethnic section at the grocery, who knew?), red pepper flakes and garlic.  103 calories of a 1/4 lb of awesome.  It's kind of me and Brandi's new jam, but she's doing a different plan.  It fits the parameters of lots of diets.  I said parameters because I work in consulting now. 
Watch it or I will drop a "leverage" or a "high level overview" on you next. 




 Gotta scoot sweets.  I am hungry from posting all these pics and got a late start due to a School Uniform Malfunction  pre-7am for the middle schooler.  Problem solved, conference call managed and my hair is less than stellar this early morning.  Oh, and one more thing...

Happy Birthday, Mom!



May 21, 2013

My Bad

Soo ummm. Yeah.

I forgot the blog logon. I forgot the password. There are 463(!!) comments waiting for moderation.

My bad.

I told you in January I had legit qualms about this spring, and those were not unfounded. 

"But this year, I am putting my foot down. I refuse to put myself last, again. I will not be the mom dragging arse everyday because I stayed up too late, ate gummy bears for lunch and put everyone's needs before my own. This year, I am making myself a priority, and if that means asking for more help, so be it. If it means that everyone has to be more patient and chip in more, then that's what will happen. The boys are getting older, and they are certainly less demanding of my every moment. I need to grant them more independence and with that, more responsibility."

The reality is (for once?!) I actually did what I intended to do.  The boys have rallied this year with me giving them a wider range of independence.  I've focused more on work (and IG and social media...) and now that the boys can stay home without me, I have been able to hit the dreadmill more.  Definition of "more" is debatable.

6 more school days and we have made it another school year.  Jack is done with his baseball season and Ryan is wrapping up soccer.  Memorial Day we will be sitting at the pool and covered in SPF and probably Georgia bugs.  We leave for the beach in a week and a half and you know what that means...

I will be quoting Shag for days.







January 23, 2013

Accountable

I have so much to say, and as always, I am going to dive right back in.  I have taken a few hiatuses (is that even a word?) over the last 7 years and I make no excuses.  This blog has always been, and will remain unplanned, unscheduled and unapologetically me.

I have some serious qualms about the next 4 months (not that I am counting down to Granny Camp or anything).  The boys are about to start 2 different sports in 2 different cities and I haven't worked full time through a spring season before.  It's always a bit of a circus to get everyone where they need to be when they need to be there, but this year in particular is going to be even more so.

In the end, I know it will all work itself out, it always does. But this year, I am putting my foot down.  I refuse to put myself last, again.  I will not be the mom dragging arse everyday because I stayed up too late, ate gummy bears for lunch and put everyone's needs before my own.  This year, I am making myself a priority, and if that means asking for more help, so be it. If it means that everyone has to be more patient and chip in more, then that's what will happen.  The boys are getting older, and they are certainly less demanding of my every moment.  I need to grant them more independence and with that, more responsibility.

Working from home is wonderful.  I have a 20 step commute to my home office and I frequently work in my pajamas.  I pick the children up from school and I sure as hell get to meet my girlfriends for lunch on occasion.  Ok, like a lot. 

But it's still "new" to me.  This fall, the boys didn't play any sports (don't ask...it was a shiot show and the details of that decision would bore you to tears) and this winter, basketball and Lego Robotics were both at school, with minimal effort required from me.

It's going to be a test of what I am made of.  How much I can stick to my guns and not ignore my needs.  Every spring, I run myself so ragged I end up getting so sick that I need reinforcements and the ER.  I won't do that this year.

I won't.  Watch me.

But I will need someone(s) and something(s) to keep me accountable.  I had a great conversation today with a friend and we talked through some of the things I want to keep on track.  I also gave a new gym a test run. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and call me out on the erratic (at best) nature of my physical whatnot.   In any case, I decided that the 20-something college girls at the local gym would motivate me and keep me accountable.

Be careful what you wish for.  There is no one quite as able to keep you accountable and honest as the person I worked out next to tonight. 

My priest. 





December 18, 2012

Sugar and Sass





There is quite a bit of planning that goes into Christmas, and as my friend Quinn says, sometimes it tries to kill you.  But this year has been blissfully easy.  Partly because we have been in the house for the longest stretch EVER, so everything is basically routine.  The tree and the decorations went up weeks ago, so the party was simple.  Of course I made it a smidge more complicated than it needed to be, but let's be honest.  The water bottle labels with polka dots and chevron just made me happier that day.  ;)


Ryan took this photo the day before Cupcakes and Coffee when I was taking these balloons to the mailbox.  Although I hardly needed to indicate which house was mine, my next door neighbors have some inflatable situation happening, a white fake tree and of course, an enormous plastic pumpkin (see also: matches their long-dead mums) in the front yard.  So I am fairly sure (read: fracking positive) no one thought that was my house. 
Barf.
Mine is the mailbox with the argyle Christmas ribbon and the simple green garland.  Obvs.  I will say I could use a new flag, mine is a country Santa, but otherwise my decorations are spot on.  I love the metal peppermint candy and flower themed stakes in my pots!

Sunday morning after 9a Mass we made the weekly pilgrimage to Waffle House.  Ryan got some extra wear out of his Cotillion tie and I played black and white cheetah in this House of Target faux silk whatnot and some suit pants.  It was super comfy and I exchanged the red Mass pumps for black riding boots when I got home.

I took the leaf out of the kitchen table and shoved it against the window because the Casa de Chaos is small.  Of course, that also eliminated 6 chairs, but my cutie friends rolled with it.  I am not saying people ended up sitting on the floor in the family room, but I am not saying they didn't.

I snagged the "Merry & Bright" banner and the little flags from Mara Mi when I was in Chicago this Thanksgiving.  My mom snuck some cute cupcake napkins into my bag that week too as a surprise and  those were the only new additions to the 7th annual drop-in.

Publix and Trader Joe's did the baking and the Kuerig made the drinks.  It's possible that I was half in the bag but I don't tote tales on myself this close to Christmas.

Better not pout...


November 29, 2012

Tis the {Clemson} Season

Outside the boys' bathroom at the top of the stairs...right next to a basket of laundry that has been giving me the side eye.  It's one step up from a Charlie Brown tree, but the orange and purple makes up for all of that.

Merry Merry!

November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Week Recap


We made it back safely from a week in suburban Chicago, and while I promised I'd blog, I am pretty busy today, so this will be brief.  Awesome, as always, but brief.  heehee
 I was so happy to be able to spend the better part of one day with my mom, we goofed off and shopped a little. One of our favorite stops is always The Little Traveler in Geneva, we have been going there for 100 years together.  Ok, since I was 11, so more like 26 years.  We always end up regretting not buying more!
She took me to a new (new to me!) restaurant on the way home and we had the yummiest tapas; skirt steak tacos and corn with lemon-aioli.  I would drop the name of the place, except it is so tiny and hard to get a table as it is... Fact is I also had a yummy mojito, but...I deserved some day drinking. 
  

 It's been said that I am a little overprotective of my boys, and rightfully so.  However, I made the executive parenting decision to allow them to see Skyfall (we saw Wreck It Ralph the night before).  I love Bond movies, and my research told me that this one was probably ok for them. Admittedly, I missed probably 15 minutes of the movie because I covered my eyes a few times, but they boys were riveted.  I know I will get some flack from some of you uber conservative moms for taking a 4th and 6th grader to it...but you know what?  Long hair, don't care.  I kid, I kid.  Of course I care what you think.  Kind of.  Maybe not really. Eve Moneypenny and I, well we are sort of independent thinkers like that.  I have never touched a gun, so I am pretty sure she's a better shot than I am, but she's got nothing on my parallel parking or table setting skills.


The cousins are finally all of the age where they can be left to their own devices without the threat of disaster.  They played some four square and heaven knows what else.  None of them were very happy to part ways, that I can assure you. 

Saturday's Clemson v Carolina game.  Ugh.  No words, but I made good with my Gamecock friend and we went for Sunday mani/pedis.  Our friendship was only divided for 4 hours, things are delightfully (and well polished) back to normal.
Sunday I put up the majority of the Christmas decorations and rewarded myself with the first margarita of the Christmas season.  Caught up on 2 shows on the DVR (the Thanksgiving Happy Endings episode was a disappointment, FTR) and watched a quarter of the Packers game.  That's how I roll these days. 

Happy Monday Sweets, gotta scoot!

November 19, 2012

Road Trippin'

I think road trips are awesome.

Late Sunday morning, after a Waffle House stop with the college BFFS,  the boys and I piled into the (now ORANGE monogrammed!) minivan and drove to my parents' house.

719 miles of progressively flatter interstate from Atlanta to Chicago.  (If that sentence confuses you please Utilize The Google and learn about glaciers, kthanks.)  Satellite radio (albeit less stations due to the recent subscription update, boo) and a cooler of road trip snacks.  Said snacks included dark chocolate with sea salt, myriad boxes of crackers, Flavor Blasted Goldfish, pretzel M&Ms and 2 packs of bubble gum.  In the car is really the only place it's ok for a girl (read: anyone) to chew gum.  It's gross and rude.  Make a note.

An old book of CDs which included but was not limited to Annie Lennox, Cravin' Melon and Jump Little Children.  CDs so old they had my maiden name written on them in Sharpie.  My love of office supplies runs deep and long.  CDs in fact, that have been all over the world.  Well, except Asia and Australia, I've not been there, yet. 

The boys had a backpack that I don't think was ever unpacked as we spent the entire drive either watching movies (Little Rascals, Looney Tunes and Disney everything ever produced) and seat dancing.  In the event that you were wondering, you can ABSOLUTELY choreograph dances with a seat belt and one hand (mostly) on the steering wheel.  If you screw up the lyrics to anything by Skynyrd, Ice, Ice Baby or Call Me Maybe, I will repeat the song and give you a second chance.  Then I will just laugh at you for another 10 miles.

We laughed so hard on that trip.  I had the boys undivided attention, well mostly.  Except for the hour and half during the Anime movie. I am a dork, admittedly, but that level of dorkdom is too much even for me.  So I let them have that to themselves while I indulged in some Beach Music and some Scritti Politti.  We decided that our Musical Palette needs it own zip code it's so wide. 

We made a few stops, for necessaries (read: non fat lattes and petrol in Tennessee) and had lunch in Kentucky and dinner in Indiana. 

Around 8:30p I started getting a little antsy.  My left arm gets sore when I drive that long.  Something to think about: wearing a ponytail when driving on a road trip SEEMS like a good idea.  Natch, it is not.  You can't lean your head back and eventually that ponytail is going to make you stabby.  Ergo you have 2 choices, wear it down (which I did until 8:30p) or sport pigtails.  Check and check. 

(I am not ashamed to admit I and took a selfie in the Starbucks ladies' room sporting some sweats on this trip, purple ones at that, and trainers with fluorescent yellow laces.)

We pulled in to my parents' drive sometime after 10p, and were greeted with a glass of wine, turndown services and hollers of, "Let the ruckus begin!"


I won't be a cliche and say how thankful I was to be home, and especially to see my dad after his heart surgery.  But I will tell you I am pretty sure he had mascara on his shirt from my tears of relief when I hugged him.

Happy Monday Loves...Let the Ruckus Begin!

November 15, 2012

Winner!

Morning Lovelies! 

 It's Thursday, which means it's the day to choose a winner for the Artisans Design Gallery Giveaway of the Andrea Barnett bracelet (which I rocked at Homecoming stacked with my watch and 3 other less amazing bracelets!) 

Congratulations to Susie from For Whom the Belle Tolls...please email me your mailing address so we can get the bracelet to you, maybe you can even wear it on Thanksgiving!
xx

November 14, 2012

Cupcakes and Coffee

Every year since we moved to Atlanta, I have hosted a Christmas Drop-In (that's the Southern version of an Open House for those of you North of the Mason-Dixon).  I have called it Cupcakes and Coffee, because it starts early in the day, like 9a.

My girlfriends drop their children off at school, and pull up to my casa.  No cookie exchange, no white elephant gift.  I don't want them to do anything, no work, no stress.  Then we sit around for the majority of the day and drink coffee and make fancy hot chocolates from the bar.  Freebase on sugar and icing and generally just take a few hours off duty.

Of course, there are always a couple of special guests, because at least one of my girlfriends is bound to have had a baby, but otherwise there are no children.  We all ooh and ahh over the latest peanut, vacillating between wanting to hold her and thanking the Good Lord that our children are older and we slept all night.

There is not much discussion of being SO INCREDIBLY BUSY and of CHRISTMAS TRYING TO KILL US, because we are all in it together.  We all know how hard it is, but this day, we tend to focus on each other.  The elements of those friendships that transcend the busyness of the season.  Giggling and much discussion of what (if any) ridiculous gifts the men in our lives will manage to have picked out.  Some mention of putting on our winter weight, but then vehement insistence to one another that, YOU LOOK AMAZING and JUST EAT ANOTHER CUPCAKE PRETTY GIRL!

It's one of my favorite things.  No stress, no work. I don't do the baking, I order everything and just sass it up with my magic.  Before we realize it, it's time to run afternoon carpool and everyone scoots out with promises not to go so long without seeing each other.

I love my girlfriends.

I am getting ready to order invitations for this years Cupcakes and Coffee, and I found these cute options on Tiny Prints.  I haven't decided which one, what do you think?


They are all so cute and the price point is perfect.  I'd rather spend my budget on sprinkles and a new lip gloss...obviously! I am leaning toward the second one, I love the shape and the bright colors.

Priorities include packing for a week in Chicago, ordering invites, and getting an enormous latte to drink while I peruse these Christmas card options here at Tiny Prints and having them shipped rush... would be weird if I used a selfie pic from Twitter, right?  heehee


 Merry, merry y'all...