Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Winter to Spring

My absence from blogging has lead me to nearly missing spring altogether. Here it only feels spring-like for about two weeks before the weather transitions into sweltry summer. The last time I wore this dress it was still cool, so I paired it with boots and a chunky belt. This time around, I lightened up the overall look with a soft cardigan and neutral wedges.

Dress: Lands End (Buy Here)
Cardigan- Modcloth (Buy Here)
Shoes- Kohl's (Similar Here)

This dress (still available from Lands End and under $15!) is on heavy rotation. I try not to wear it every week, but I may not be successful! I love the various shades in the pattern. Depending on what I pair it with, it can be rose pink or shrimpy-coral and just about any pink and peach shade in-between. The cardigan was my first ever purchase from Modcloth and I am pleased with it. While the color is supposed to be "rose", I definitely think it is leaning towards the peach end of the scale. Either way it matches perfectly! This cardigan comes in about 30 colors and some colors go up to a size 4X, so if you are looking for a specific shade, it's definitely worth checking out!

Floral Dresses for YOU!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sugar Rush: My 10 Day Sugar Detox

So, I hinted about it and overloaded Instagram with humble-brag pics, but I finally had the chance to sit down and reflect on my 10 day sugar detox. I always feel weird writing about weight and diets on a blog that celebrates women at all sizes, and in particular, my own plus-size body. I am not offering medical advice or judging you and what you eat in anyway, let's just make that clear! I think that you can be healthy and not be 100 pounds, but I AM NOT healthy. It's embarrassing to realize and admit that, but it's true and important to the story of me.

I've written before about being skinny and getting fat; it's a common struggle for many women. I've lost weight- with Weight Watchers back in 2005 and with Curves in 2012, but in recent months, all if my bad habits had crept back into my life. Three or more full calorie Coca-colas a day. Fast food nearly every day, and as disgusting as this is, there were literally days where I ate fast food for all three meals. I was diagnosed with insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) in 2011, but didn't feel the need to make any lifestyle changes, well, at least not any healthy lifestyle changes. I knew something had to give. After a terrible February appointment with my gynecologist left me feeling very fat-shamed and in tears, I sought out a second opinion. I've always had SUPER low energy, as a well as a few other healthy issues, but I just refused to believe that borderline high blood sugar could be wreaking such havoc on my body. In retrospect, I realize that sounds like someone deep in denial, and with all due respect to my gynecologist, I know that I wasn't taking care of myself the way I should (even if she was super bitchy in the way she said it to me!).

I found a wonderful, kind, caring doctor who focuses on integrative and holistic medicine and after a slew of tests we discovered I had multiple issues compounding my blood sugar problem, including food intolerance, Adrenal FatigueWilson's Thyroid Syndrome, and a genetic mutation called MTHFR. All of these things are wearing my body down, and I'm not helping with all the crap I am putting into my body. She recommended a pretty strict diet, not because of the blood sugar actually, but the MTHFR doesn't allow my body to process man-made folate (A.K.A folic acid, which is in TONS of "fortified" foods like bread and cereals). So I sought out a diet that I hoped could change my life.

Don't let that sweet smile deceive you!

Years ago, I got into a nasty online Pinterest war with a woman who took great offense to aparticular pin that said something like, "Your body's not a trash can, stop putting trash in it." I feel like this is a great adage to live buy, not unlike the old, "You are what you eat" saying. Y'all, I was eating crap. ALL THE TIME. Not an occasional treat- Cokes, fast food, bread, sweets- these were staples of my daily diet. I ran across Dr. Mark Hyman's book The 10 Day Detox Diet, and even though he takes a real tough love approach to it, I knew this was what I needed to kick my butt into gear.

This diet is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. For 10 days we cut out ALL sugars- natural and man-made, with the exception of a half-cup of berries in a breakfast smoothie. We also eliminated all gluten (and gluten-free products) and all dairy. Dr. Hyman says to focus on what you CAN eat instead of obsessing over what you CAN'T have, but I spent the first three days in mourning over the fact that I will never again drink another Coca-cola. That's not normal. But it showed me how real my food issues are. I used to (secretly, of course) totally judge and laugh at people who would say they were emotional eaters or food addicts, but within days, it was clear that I had some major food hang-ups.

Image from
My mornings started with this shake, chick full of nuts, seeds, and other
good for you food. I missed chewing!
My actual detox, or withdrawal as I like to call them, symptoms weren't awful. I had a caffeine headache on day three and some pretty gross bathroom visits, but physically I felt fine. However, emotionally I was a wreck. I know of at least THREE times I was brought to tears over food and wanting food and not being able to have food. Again, not normal. I was VERY irritable, moreso than usual, no matter what my husband says! I was mean and grumpy and by day 8, I was totally 100% over it. I broke down and ordered a pizza. I had a couple of slices, and I swear I felt so much better. It truly gave me the resolve to continue and again helped me realize the power food has over me. It always comforted me in knowing I can have the things that I'm not supposed to have, in moderation and occasional. You probably aren't surprised to hear me say (see me write?) that the pizza didn't even taste good! And the few sips of soda I've sneaked have been equally disappointing.

The diet does require A LOT of prep work and grocery shopping. Curtis balked at the money we were spending but I had to keep reminding him that we were getting a week's worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and leftovers. We actually saved money. It's pretty straight-forward and easy to follow. You are given two 10-day menus- one is considered Basic and the other is called Adventure. The Adventure calls for more exotic ingredients, many of which weren't found in my podunk town, so we stuck with the basic diet. Each day was fairly similar: thick, fatty breakfast shake, salad or soup with protein at lunch, and a dinner heavy in leafy green vegetables and lean protein. I did get sick of not chewing for breakfast and it felt like we eat fish EVERY night, but the recipes were fairly easily to follow and most were pretty good. I had a few misses but all in all I felt like we ate well and I was rarely hungry. Snacks were almonds or vegetable dips that I never got around to making (hummus is a no-no because no beans/peas/etc. were allowed on the detox either).

Image from
Each night is supposed to end with a detox bath.
I wish my tub looked like this one!
So did it work? Well, I haven't had a chance to get any blood work done, hopefully later this week I can answer that for you, but I did lose 15 pounds. Now, of course, if I go right back to my crappy eating habits the weight will come back, but that's some impressive and healthy weight-loss. Dr. Hyman realizes that detractors will argue that it's unhealthy and of course you will lose weight cutting out huge portions of one's daily diet. But look at what I cut out- dairy and gluten and sugar. Yes, these things are delicious, but they are also poisoning my body. About two-thirds of the book is actually research and an explanation of how addictive sugar is and how bad it is for you. I think my favorite part was the chapter that focused on "10 common myths keeping us fat and sick". Like I said, there will be people who disagree with Dr. Hyman's thoughts and methods, but I thought his thinking and science was solid.

Even though I did cheat, I haven't given up. This Monday we actually started Diane Sanfilippo's super-famous 21 Day Sugar Detox. Her detox is much more lenient and allows for apples and bananas (green, but still, it will be a luxury!) I look forward to updating you in about a month as my journey continues!

Here's what's next! Wish me luck!

If you have any questions about the 10 Day Detox Diet, just ask in the comments! I will gladly answer as truthfully as I can!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sunday's Best

So, I always thought people who dressed there animals up in real clothes were super lame, but then I got a dog, and I seriously can't help myself. It's like a compulsion! That being said I swear I didn't buy matching dresses for myself and Lulu.They were purchased months apart and just happened to match perfectly for Easter. And that's the true story! Could we be any cuter??

Y'all, look at her! She's adorable!

Lulu's dress is from the Martha Stewart line at PetSmart. As for mine, I bought it from Eshakti, several months back during their "Buy 2, Get 1" sales. I love the modest neckline (no Sunday cleavage), the wrap-around tie in the front, and the pockets- perfect for Easter egg hunts!

Dress: Eshakit- This color isn't available but many others are, and there's a big 30% off sale going on right now!

Despite the fact that I am still in the midst of a pretty intense sugar detox (more on that later this week), I did get a little "Holly Homemaker" and make these precious carrot berries from the wonderful Ginger Snaps blog. I was very impressed with myself and wanted to make sure the event was documented. Full disclosure: I did eat ONE carrot berry and it was delicious!

Friday, April 11, 2014

"Tank" You Very Much

This black lace tank top has been hanging out in my closet for a couple of months now. It was a thrift shop find from my mother-in-law, but I wasn't sure how to wear it. However, Audrey from Putting Me Together is always showing me so many cute ways to wear lace tanks, I knew I didn't want to get rid of it!  This weekend I am definitely pairing it with a pair of skinny jeans for Sean's soccer game!

Tank Top- Thrifted (Similar Here)
Ankle Pants- c/o J.Jill (Buy Here)
Shoes- Forever 21 (Buy Here)

I'm short on words today- things have been super hectic around here- I'm talking soccer five of the past seven days, and a crazy detox diet, and a dog who's scared to poop outside. I feel like I'm way busier than I probably am, but  it's still taking it's toll on me. I'm so relieved it's Friday!

If you are looking for your own tank top for an upcoming weekend, look no further. Click on any of the pictures below to get price and size details!! Happy weekend!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Give It Away Now!

Just stopping by for a quick hello today! I am currently baby-stepping my sophomores through a research paper and I swear it is the most physically exhausting thing I do all year! I don't have time for an outfit post today, but I do have time for some giveaways :) There's always time for giveaways, right?

First up we've got a $25 gift card for ASOS! Lulu and I are partial to the French bulldog t-shirt, but we will let you choose any piece you want.

The winner is..... Nancy C. Be on the look out for an email from me :)

Me and my BFF Callie
And finally, WAY back in February, I did a True Blue Friendship giveaway with the ladies at J.Jill. While, it's been a long time coming (they had lots of winners to choose from participating blogs and so many wonderful stories to read through), I promise for one lucky lady and her best friend, it was worth the wait!

 Our winners are Brynn and Andria, and here is Brynn's winning entry:

My true blue friend is Andria. We've known each other our whole lives, actually - her parents are my godparents, and her family lives right next door to my grandma. We have celebrated every birthday together, every Christmas, and nearly every 4th of July. We live about an hour away from each other right now, but we make it a point to see each other every week. We laugh, we cry, we vent, we snuggle, we play games, we sing's pretty much the most perfect friendship I have ever had, and will ever have!

How sweet is that?? Congrats ladies and I hope you all get some awesome new spring time clothes!
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