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Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Whole30 Results and Experience

{via pinterest}


This blog post is long over due.  If you know me in real life, if you follow me on instagram, or if you happen to be one of my facebook friends, you know that I spent January doing a #Whole30.  The hashtag really doesn't have to be there.  It's called a Whole30, but I feel like it looks so much more hip with the #.

My 30 day extreme paleo challenge was tough.  My husband is a good man.  He put up with my whining, my I-want-to-kill-everything attitude that popped up every now and then, he ate at Chipotle more than anyone ever wants to... wait... Chipotle was never a problem.  I went through sugar withdrawals, I learned several new ways to cook eggs since I had them for breakfast every day, and I gave up wine.  GASP!  NO WINE?!  Yuppers!  No wine.  Not even a drop.

And it was one of the best experiences of my life.

I had tried to do a whole30 in the past.  And I failed.  I'm pretty sure I didn't actually commit.  Like, there was no mental commitment.  I allowed myself to cheat.  I allowed myself to sneak some cheese on my Chipotle burrito bowl.  I gave up around day 23 because "I made it 3 weeks... that should be enough right?" 

Nope.  23 days wasn't enough.  And sneaking cheese really wasn't worth it.

I had results in 23 days.  But nothing spectacular.   And nothing that made me feel like I really accomplished something.  In January though, when I made it the full 30 days, with not even one single cheat - I felt like I could take on the world.

My skin cleared up.  My migraines disappeared.  I felt amazing.  I lost 9 pounds.  Hallelujah, my clothes fit again!  (Which meant I stopped crying every time I would get dressed.  Yes, that was really happening.  Again, my husband's a saint.)

I have been really hesitant to put my before and after pictures out in the world.  There's only about 4 people who have seen them.  I'm not proud of how I looked.  And I'm still not super happy with how I look.  But it's a process.  And if the results just happened overnight, I'm pretty positive I wouldn't appreciate the changes as much.  So here you go.  Drum roll please... my before and after pictures from my first successful Whole30.  {Be kind with your judgements please!}

This picture, to me, is the most obvious.  And the most embarrassing. 
You can see a slight difference in my face.  It's a bit less round. 

No 6 pack here... but again, a bit less round.  And still completely embarrassing to be posting.  Please don't judge.
So there you have it.  I wish I could reach through this computer screen and really just tell you how awesome this experience was.  But I can't.  So I am doing it again in March.   Not so much for me... I'm still eating healthy, minus my ridiculous addiction to snacking on almond butter and raisins.  (That needs to stop.  Stat.)

What do you have to give up, you ask?  Grains, dairy, Booze, Legumes and Soy, Added and Processed Sugars... basically everything is clean, fresh food.  Nothing from a box.  Unless you pack your meals in a lunch box before work.  Homemade Lunch Box meals are a-okay! ;)

After a random, meaningless post on facebook late last night, about possibly doing another Whole30 in March, I had almost 15 people contact me saying that want to do it!  SO!!  I will be sending out recipes, tips, and I am going to try to put together meal plans and grocery lists for you full of recipes and meals that worked for me.  And I suggest you join us.

Last week when I mentioned the idea to my mom, she flat out said "Well I would have to look at my calendar first."  Guys, it's just 30 days.  As I get older, time flies by.  Seriously, time is speeding up!  You might as well take advantage of it.  

It's delicious, clean and healthy food that you will love.  That office party pizza and cookies will happen again.  I promise you there will be more wine tastings.  The world does not have a shortage of cupcakes.  But there's only one you.  This is the only body you've been given.  So give it a shot.  I promise you will hate the process (for at least the first 2 weeks) but you will love the results.  

{Unless you're getting married in March... then I recommend you eat wedding cake. Tons and tons of wedding cake.}

A week after the Whole30 and feeling great!
I recommend you check out the information on the Whole30 Site.  If you want to join in on the fun, or you have questions, shoot me an email and I will get you added to the list:  2catsandchloe@gmail.com 

I'm looking forward to it friends!  I hope you are too!



Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Photoshoot in the G-House


Now that I am working from home, almost every day of the week, my human interaction is quite limited to business emails and social media.  Today I needed a break from my computer.  

Lately I've been toying with the idea of giving Chloe her own instagram account... because let's be real... all the cool pets are doing it.  Beyond that - she's a unique dog.  Blonde Border Collies are few and far between.  They are as hard to find as those collector edition, teddy bear beanie babies were back in the 90s.  So if some silly cat from South Africa can have thousands of followers, I have hope for C-lo's page.  And yeah... I follow that silly cat from South Africa.  He's just so stinkin cute!  

But where does one start with the idea of having an instagram page for your pet? I'm pretty positive you have to be able to master a solid photo sesh with said pet.  

Which is what I attempted to do on my 30 minute get-away-from-your-desk-break today.

Pretty sure we failed.  Miserably.  

I spent more time saying "NO! No, sit still!" "Do you want a cookie?" and "Rockie stop pulling the backdrop down!!" than having a good time.  

Turns out Chloe is a much better model when she is in her natural habitat (i.e. playing in the snow) than she is posing for biscuits.  

With that being said, we decided to pick one to turn into a Valentine's e-picture just for you!


Cute, right?!

After uploading the pictures to my computer, I was shocked to see that one of the "pictures" was actually a video.  I know I'm not the first to accidentally record when you mean to snap.  But this totally wasn't the case!  Apparently my camera decided to make a video all on it's own.  And as it turns out, I love this video more than the pictures!  You will see me bribe my dog with cookies, my horrible photography skills in action, and Rockie crash the shoot.  



And now, just a few others that you may love on this lovely loving holiday.  






After pulling down the left side, Rockie decided to go to the right side and poke chloe in the butt... until Chloe went all diva-licious on us.  Which unfortunately isn't on the video. 


Then the cat stole the ribbon and left.  



So with all that being said, I am pretty darn positive that chloe will not be getting her own instagram account.  At least, not if Rockie has anything to do with it.

Happy Valentine's Day Loves!  While I'm counting down the days until my husband returns from military obligations on the other side of the country... I hope you're holiday is a bit more exciting than mine!  Spend it with some actual humans okay?

Oh - and if someone can explain why my camera gave me the video, I'd really appreciate it.  Muah!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Look out Charlie! Versona's in town!

Look out Charming Charlie's... there's a new girl in town who has come to shake up your world!  And she definitely knows the way to my heart.  Her name is Versona!



A few weeks ago someone contacted me, as a Newport News blogger, to invite me to the grand opening of Versona.  What tha what?!  Yeah - that was my initial thought when I first saw the email.  Me?! A blogger worth an invite to a grand opening of a store?  Yeah, I know.  Pin a rose on my nose!

The Versona Grand Opening was last Thursday, January 31st.  However - it snowed.  A lot.  Like buckets and buckets of snow.  So I didn't make it out of the house.

And then I had a wedding in Northern Virginia this weekend.  So even though I was so anxious and highly anticipating losing my "Versona Virginity" - it had to wait.  Until today.

As a marketing guru let me first say that the placement of this store is beyond brilliant.  Located next door to Trader Joes - I'm pretty positive my husband will be seeing as many jewelry receipts as he will grocery receipts.  #sorryimnotsorry.  But seriously.  Awesome location.


Personally, I was shocked when I saw the price tags.  From the outside, the store looks quite up scale and uber fancy.  I was expecting Charming Charlie's prices multiplied by at least two-ish.  But I was wrong.  The prices are terrific! 


Not to mention, that there is a spectacular sale section.  I overheard a sales lady telling someone that they do mark downs twice a week.  Apparently their inventory is constantly changing and their sale section, and my wardrobe, will benefit from this.  Seriously - I got some super classy earrings for $2.99.  (Yes, that price included both earrings!)


And holy scarves, Batman!  If you know me, you know I'm obsessed with scarves and pretty colors.  My closet almost looks like this.  Just a lot less organized.  Ha!


Please excuse my super frumpy sweater.  Yes, I bought that hat.  For $6.99.  Bam!


Did I mention they have more than just jewels?  Their clothes AND shoes were super cute!  And between us, I feel like the clothes were a bit better quality than Charming Charlie's.  And again, I was happily impressed when checking out the price tags.


And to my brides, I wish this store had been open when I was getting married.  There are so many cute bridesmaid gifts in here! 


So yes - they sent me a gift card and invited me to their store.  But these are all my personal opinions.  If you are in the Newport News area - get your butt to this store.  And then go buy some veggies, beer and wine from Trader Joes so your husband doesn't get mad.


Monday, January 27, 2014

The Tea Shoppe is Open... sort of.

This is just one heck of a quick post, because I need to get downstairs to watch craziness that is The Bachelor... but I wanted to let you know that there are teas up for sale!  Each day I will try to add some more!  Head over to The Tea Shoppe page of my blog and read up on it!  Right now there are only 3 tea options - but I promise more will be added daily!



Any of you who have etsy shop experience... send me your tips.  I am thinking about starting a shop, but I wanted to test the "hot tea" waters first. (please laugh at my corny tea joke.  thanks.)


In the mean time... go check it out!  I am so in love with tea, and all of the healthy benefits that go along with it!  And it's the perfect time of year... we are supposed to get hit hard tomorrow with some more snow.  As the saying goes... when it rains, it pours.  Apparently the same goes for all precipitation.  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

How to put makeup on digitally.

I know I promised a Whole30 post.  Seriously.  I want to talk about my Whole30 experience more than you know.  But I just don't have the time right now to sit down and delve into this experience.  Again - trust me.  I want to tell each and every one of you as well as your long lost cousins about it.  (No kidding - I told the 2 ladies that work in the office of my chiropractic office yesterday, as well as a Starbucks barista and the security lady at Target.  I can't even make this up.  They seemed pretty pumped but I'm sure the second I walked away they were making that 'she cray cray' sign behind my back...)

But today - since I'm in a hurry - I figured I would catch you up on the finest makeup tips I can provide.  Hint hint: They aren't very fine.  And they aren't really tips.  I simply felt the need to show you that I can put my makeup digitally.

Meaning: I used the photobooth app on my imac because my husband takes really long showers, kicking me out of our bathroom.






Now that I think about it - we have 3.5 bathrooms in this house...