the secret of nesting

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We are expecting our first visitor this week! I could not be more excited!!!!!!!!!!!! This morning, I woke up like it was the eve of Christmas Eve, when really it’s just two days before September 19th, when one of my dearest friends is coming to me!

Kaylee’s imminent and exciting arrival has sent me into a nesting flurry. If you’re friends with me on facebook, you may have noticed our extremely productive labor day weekend. Our little tiny home is coming together and I’m loving every little piece of the process and our home. (I know, I know, I really promise to post pictures soon!)

This has been my favorite little home of ours so far. We started from scratch after four years of collecting house stuff. Our new apartment here was an empty canvas of sorts, and having absolutely no furniture or decor or anything allowed us to slowly take our time deciding what we valued, what our aesthetic was, and what items/decor were both beautiful and functional to us.

I’m not great at decorating nor do I claim to have an eye for interior design. But I’ve read recently on several different design blogs something to the effect of, “Don’t worry about an item “matching” the rest of your decor, if it’s beautiful to you, it will go with your aesthetic.” Wow, am I right?! That mantra really gave me a lot of freedom and took away a lot of my usual stress about decorating. This idea completely defines how I created each and every space in our home. Some things in our home are beautiful to me because I handmade them, some are beautiful to me because they were $50 instead of $500 and some are beautiful to me because they just are.

The other major factor that defines the decor in our home was that I took my time. I’m notorious for rushing to make important decisions simply because I don’t like making them. But with this home, we didn’t have a couch for a month, or a kitchen table. The piece of plywood that has been sitting in our living room for two months? I just decided what to make of it. And I’ve been so okay with that, because the reality is, in the past two months, I’ve changed my mind three times about that particular art project, and I’m so excited about what I’ve finally decided to do.

I have some friends that are really wonderful at nesting and I’ve always been jealous of them. But I think I’m figuring out their secrets! Knowing myself, and knowing what’s beautiful to me has been the secret of making my apartment into my home. Can’t wait to show you pictures!

things i learned on the whole30…i mean whole20

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Yeah, I know, you totally called it.  We only lasted 20 days.  The thing is, we wanted to enjoy pizza with our co-workers and support our new church building at a spaghetti fundraiser dinner, so it was a choice to give it up early.  But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an awesome, insane, and educational experience.  Here are some life-changing things I learned.

When you throw your grocery budget out the window, and have extremely limited options for ingredients, cooking isn’t actually that bad.  More and more as I grow up, I am learning that I do.not.like cooking.  It’s in the same line as cleaning for me.  Necessary, but how necessary is it?  I can live in my own filth just about as long as I can survive on cheap fast food and pizza-it’s quite an impressive threshold.  But I actually enjoyed cooking on the Whole30, because I didn’t have to think about following recipes or even meal planning.  I didn’t really have to think about grocery shopping either because there were so few things I could actually buy, that I just bought everything we could eat.  We completely killed our grocery budget (we seriously spent almost twice as much as we normally do, sick!) but that was okay, too, because we planned on that.  So I would shop and buy whatever I knew we could eat, without worrying about money and then every evening I would look in my fridge and cupboards and make whatever I came up with.  I like cooking that way, and in some ways, I’ve adopted that into my daily routine.  Buy things that sound good and are natural and healthy and then make something up.

Food has a lot of crap in it.  We’re blessed to not have food allergies/intolerance so I’ve never really cared what was in the things I was buying.   But the Whole30 definitely opened my eyes to all the weird ingredients that companies put in food.  I’m learning to read the label and trying not to buy things that have ingredients I can’t pronounce.

Dairy makes me smelly.  It just does.  So I’ve sadly stopped drinking milk regularly and cook with a lot less cheese.  It’s not as hard as I thought it would be.  I’m not super strict about it, and I will not give up milk with cookies or a splash in my cereal.  But the new moderation definitely helps my gassy-ness.

Overall, we’ve changed.  The other day, I made a batch of cookies, and only made 8 cookies.  We could have eaten the whole batch ourselves, easily.  But I wrapped up the rest of the cookie dough and put in in the fridge for later.  WHAT?!  I barely even recognized myself.  Bryan was hilariously irritated when I told him he would be only be getting 4 cookies, but even he admitted that 4 was the perfect amount for one evening.

So, no, we didn’t make all 30 days.  And no, I don’t plan on eating paleo the rest of my life, by any means.  But my entire goal was to kick off a healthier lifestyle for us, and I would definitely say we succeeded in that regard.

Oh yeah, it’s also notable that Bryan lost at least 15 pounds in 20 days, and my muffin top was significantly reduced-so that was kind of fun too!