Mondays with Michelle

Hello Lovelies! It’s another Monday with Michelle from I must say I love Sunday nights because I get to read her updates :) So let’s check in!

Counting the hours, my friends, counting the hours!

As I write this I am on day 28 of my 30-day Whole30 journey.  “Journey” seems like such a big and long word for a 30-day eating regimen, but it’s been something, that’s for sure.

This week was rough.  I did not want to eat anything.  Food simply did not appeal to me.  I read on the official Whole30 timeline that this happens, but it happened a week late for me.  I could eat fruit all day long, but even though they are natural sugars, it’s still sugar, so I didn’t do that.  I was sick of vegetables without butter on them.  Meat is starting to taste bland – I was missing cream sauces and barbecue sauce and real ketchup.  So I didn’t eat much.  Thing is though, I was still full and never hungry.  I had been eating my 3 meals a day, but this week I could not choke down 3 meals and did mostly a day meal and a dinner meal.  I was almost in tears one night and I said “I hate food” all whiney and crybabyish.  Never in my life have I not wanted food – hence my problem – LOL  But I powered through.

And as of this writing I have lost 30.8 pounds.
My husband has lost 38.2 pounds.  Holy crap he’s doing so good!  So am I, but dang, he’s a champ.

Kat had asked me how my kids are doing with Whole30.  I would say they are on a modified, more loose version of it.  They eat mostly what we eat, but they still have rice with their dinner, and a glass of milk; and cereal for breakfast.  However, I have noticed their snacking habits have improved.  My son has been eating carrots with peanut butter a lot lately – even with chips and popcorn in the house.  And my daughter made herself a salad yesterday – as a snack.  So the healthy eating is getting through to them and I think that’s fantastic.  My daughter even told me that “technically” they are doing Whole30 too – ha.  Cute, but not even…

Alright.  I have 2 days left – today and tomorrow.  I’ll be back next week with my final report of how I finished and what I did after I finished.


Homemade Paleo Mustard

Hi Lovelies!

I was tweeting about my lunch yesterday and had a request for my Paleo mustard recipe :) So I thought I’d share!

Homemade Mustard

  • 1 cup mustard seeds
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • (Optional) sea salt & pepper, to taste

Take your mustard seeds and place them in a bowl. Mix in the vinegar, water and lemon juice and let it soak (about 8 hours).  Once they’ve absorbed the liquid, I like to blend it in the food processor. You might need to add a little extra vinegar in to get it to the desired consistency..but usually no more than a tablespoon. If you like your mustard really yellow (I Do!) add in some Turmeric.

For a more traditional tasting mustard, add in 1/4 tsp Sea Salt and a drop of sugar.

Love some honey mustard?

Simply add in a little organic honey until it tastes like you like it :)

There you have it :) Mustard with no “secret” flavors or ingredients & 100% Paleo. Your mustard will hit optimal flavor about a week after it’s made and is good to store for about a month. If I seems like a bit much or you’re crunched for time, try Annie’s Naturals. After looking at 4 different brands that claimed to be “organic”, “paleo”..Annie’s is the only one I’ve found to be 100% Paleo.


Happy Clean Eating!


One Honey-Mustard-Loving Lemon


Mondays with Michelle

It’s another Monday! We’re over halfway through our challenge :) Y’all! I am so excited for you to read Michelle’s guest post! I could hardly wait until this morning to post it. I think you’re going to be as excited as I am so let’s catch up with Michelle from

I’m back this week with another Whole30 update. This was my 3rd week – 21 days, just 9 more to go – and I have to say, I am feeling great!

I had read that eating clean would help you sleep better, and truth be told, I didn’t think I had any issue with sleeping.  I get tired, so I go to sleep.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret:  I used to get tired during the day and drive over to the hospital and take a nap in their parking lot.  My midday naps became part of my routine.  But this week, I went over there for my naps twice, and I could not sleep.  Never had that problem.  But now I know why:  I was not tired.  I have great energy now.  I sleep at night and that’s it.  No more nappies during the day.  And with that time and energy I am getting errands done, getting some shopping in, so it doesn’t take away from my family time at night.  Amazing the far-reaching benefits of eating like this.  Who knew?  Not me.

I did have to replenish this week.  So another trip to Trader Joe’s. They had artichokes on the cheap, and we made our own Whole30 mayo to dip them in.  And I tried these yummy little Persian cucumbers.

I was challenged this week when I had to go on a business lunch at Red Robin.  It was a last-minute thing, and I panicked!  I didn’t know what to eat, my boss told me it would be weird if I didn’t eat, so I had to get a plan in place. I ordered a hamburger patty, sliced tomato and avocado, and some fruit.  The second the strawberry got to my mouth, I could smell the sugar, so it was not Whole30 and I ended up not eating it.  They must keep the salad in some syrup or something.  But I was content with my meat and veggies.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and my husband (who is doing Whole30 with me) made some Whole30 compliant crepes.  We found the recipe online.  They were very eggy, but the coconut milk, or was it coconut oil?  Can’t remember, but they had a little bit of sweetness and I loved the nuttyness of them.  Topped with fruit, and a side of bacon.  It was the closest thing I’ve had to dessert in weeks.

Through 21 days I have lost 25.8 pounds and my husband has lost 31.2 pounds! I am jealous of his weight loss, but I do notice that I eat more fruits than he does, so that’s probably why.  And men and women lose weight differently.  But all things considered, we are doing really really well. 

I’ll catch you here next week with another update!


Cinco de aMayozing!

Yesterday was CINCO DE MAYO!!! I love it :) It’s like this random little holiday that pops up and says: “Hey You! Let’s go have some fun!”. I had quite a busy day yesterday!

I signed my loan papers for my house! I can honestly say I’m beginning to feel like an adult :) My loan officer was quite impressed with me. She said that I am one of the youngest people they have ever had the privileged of approving for a loan. She even brought the other loan officers in to meet me. They wanted to know about this “Dave Ramsey” thing I do. I will say that if you follow the financial peace university program it will change your life. Last year, I was struggling with my finances. I couldn’t understand why I was making more than enough money to live on but always seeming to just squeak by at the end of the month. I knew my mom and dad lived by a budget (which I had..but you know what happens when you see a cute pair of shoes..) and did this “Dave Ramsey” thing.

One weekend, I was exasperated with my finances. I took my bank statements, credit card statements and drove over to their house to ask for help. Yes, yes, I can ask for help when I need although I am typically very pig-headed about asking for help.

Mom and dad sat down and explained to me the wonders of the envelope system. One of the greatest things my grandpa taught me growing up was this..if you don’t have the money for it, don’t buy it. He used this system as well. I had to explain it to my loan officer yesterday as they were a little bewildered to why I only have about $200 in my checking account. Yet had all this here’s my explanation of how it works for me :)

Budget each paycheck! Budget is a dirty word to most people, but you must budget down to the last dime if you’re going to successfully implement the envelope system. Seriously! Get nitty-gritty! My mom and I took 6 months of my bank statements and went through them with a comb. I saw how much those random little Redbox stops were costing me and that I was overspending on food (big surprise..I love to eat).

Divide and conquer :) Of course, there will be budget items that you cannot include in your envelope system, like bills paid by check or automatic withdraw. However, you can create categories like food, gas, clothing and entertainment. I do create envelopes for anything that gets auto-drafted. They are red and I write the day they come out and how much is left to pay off for my student loans.

Fill ‘er Up, Up, Up! After you’ve categorized your cash expenses, fill each envelope with the money allotted for it in your budget. For example, if you allow $100 for clothing, put $100 in cash in your clothing envelope for the month. I then write on the back of the envelope how much is in it. If you take money out, it gets deducted on the back of the envelope.

When it’s gone, it’s gone :( Once you’ve spent all the money in a given envelope, you’re done spending for that category. If you go on a shopping spree and spend the $100 in your clothing envelope, you can’t spend any more on clothes until you budget for that category again. That means no visits to the ATM to withdraw more money! THIS ONE IS HARD! But after 16 months of living by this system, I can whole hearted-ly say its worth it. For example, my truck had to have $450 worth of work done to it last month. Instead of being freaked out because I didn’t have $400 bucks..I merely pulled out my “Truck Repairs” envelope and paid cash. Because I paid cash, the Auto repair shop dropped it down $50 :) He said they hate dealing with credit cards because it costs him extra money. So might be able to save some money here & there :)

Don’t be tempted! While debit cards can’t get you directly into debt, if used carelessly, they can cause you to over-spend. There’s something psychological about spending cash that hurts more than swiping a piece of plastic. If spending cash whenever possible can become a habit, you’ll be less likely to over-spend or buy on impulse. I have found this to be super true. If I have to hand a cashier $40 for a pair of shoes..I’m probably going to put them back.

Give it time. It will take a few months to perfect your envelope system. Don’t give up after a month or two if it’s not clicking. You’ll get the hang of it and see how beneficial the envelope system is as you dump debt, build wealth, and achieve financial peace! See … simple! I took me about 3 months to get the system fine tuned for me.

Certainly, some bills may come in at different times of the month, so you’ll need to adjust your written game plan to take it one step further. You need to plan the budget based upon your pay periods. Say that you get paid twice a month. If you can write down which bills you plan on paying from each paycheck, you will not be left with a surprise bill. Spend each month’s income and each individual paycheck on paper before it comes in.

I tell you all of this because it blew my loan officer’s mind. At 26, I drive an almost new vehicle that was paid for in cash (also got a better deal on it because I paid cash!). I have no credit card debt (I have 2 credit cards merely because I needed to build up my credit..Kohl’s & Victoria Secret). The only outstanding debt I currently have is a student loan from college that will be completely paid off on February 15th of 2015 (After-which I shall promptly dance around my living room!).  Needless to say, I am not your typical 26-year-old. However, I will tell you that utilizing the Dave Ramsey system did hurt me a little bit in my loan application process. I have great credit, but not having a lot of money in your checking account is a big red flag to a loan company. I had to write a letter explaining the Dave Ramsey system and that I have more money in cash. Who knew people didn’t like cold, hard cash anymore? Geez..

So after 2 hours of signing my life away..I was excited to meet up with my friends to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! We met up at one of the local Mexican restaurants (they have the best margaritas and fresh guacamole in town!) T-Crunk and I are both on the 24 Day Challenge so we knew we would have to make some healthy choices. Both of us had saved some calories for dinner because we had anticipated eating out. Our waiter (who knows us by name because we eat there so often) had us covered though :) He told Teri she should try the “skinny” margarita (Calories: 124). Their skinny margarita is made with fresh lime/orange juice, agave nectar and tequila. The difference in taste she said was amazing! For my dinner, I choose chicken enchiladas (393 calories for the 3) and was only able to eat 2. Teri and I split a small basket of chips and the salsa is made fresh daily :)

The boys discovered the mechanical bull outside and it was instantly a competition to see who could last the longest. There were 5 of them and 4 of us girls. Being that I was sporting white pants, I politely declined. Secretly, because I really didn’t want to lose the yummy enchiladas I just eaten. Teri said no way Jose..and then of course we tried to talk her boyfriend into it. But Bob said he was having more fun winning free t-shirts from the DJ (don’t mess with Bob if there’s music trivia..he’s the king at it.) We settled around the mechanical bull to watch the fun. Tyler made it about 5 seconds, Nick lasted a little bit longer and CB won for staying on longer than 30 seconds. CB did manage to get hung up the second time he came off. Needless to say, we spent the next five minutes treating his hands because the rope sliced it quite nicely. But what’s life if you don’t come out with a few battle scars? It got him another free t-shirt so he wasn’t really complaining. We spent the rest of the night showing the little kids how to do the hokey pokey..I seriously thought everyone knew how to do that! They didn’t know how to do the chicken dance or the macarena either!! What are they learning in school these days? It was a fun night to celebrate with friends :)

Oh! Bob came home with 5 t-shirts, CB came home with 4, Teri came home with 2 and I ended up with one & a key chain :)

What did you do for Cinco de Mayo?


One Chicken Dancing Lemon