December 2017 Wallpapers

december 2017 calendar wallpapers

How is it December already? How is Christmas only 25 days away? More importantly, how is 2018 only 31 days away?! This year, like almost every year, has flown by. I heard a quote once, the days are long but the years are short, and I could not agree more. This year I started a new job (which I love, most days anyway), my sweet pup got Therapy Dog certified, I got to travel across the US, and I got to see snow (a big deal for this Florida girl). I am so thankful for the great year I had and hope that 2018 will be even better.
For Thanksgiving, I made my cookie butter pie and it was a huge hit. Check out my recipe here and make it this holiday season, did I mention you don’t have to bake it? If you are big into new years resolutions, check out my post from last year, 6 Tips to Keep Your New Years Resolutions All Year Long. These tips will help you keep yourself accountable so you can be one step closer to the person you want to be.
Happy Holidays everyone! blazers and blue jeans signature

december 2017 calendar backgrounds

Smashing Magazine
Oh So Lovely

december 2017 calendar backgrounds

May Designs
Mel Armstrong Ι Soggy Musings

december 2017 calendar backgrounds

Every Tuesday Ι Uppercase Designs
Sarah Hearts Ι Dawn Nicole Designs

december 2017 calendar wallpapers

Wazz Publishing Ι Ban.do
Clementine Creative Ι Inkstruck

december 2017 calendar wallpapers

Apartment 406 Designs Ι Red Stamp
Flipsnack Ι Ivanka Trump

december 2017 calendar wallpapersEva Shorey Ι Minding My Nest
Mospens Studio Ι Kelly Sugar Crafts

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November 2017 Wallpapers

november 2017 calendar wallpapers

How is it already November? Seriously, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. WTF. It feels like time has flown by this past year, but let’s be honest, I always feel that way towards the end of the year. This month’s wallpapers have a lot of warm colors and they are very fall-esque. Don’t forget to check out my Cookie Butter Pie Recipe. I make it every year around the holidays and it is perfect for Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

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november 2017 calendar backgrounds

Eva Shorey Ι Rae Ritchie
Kelly Sugar Crafts Ι Oh So Lovely

november 2017 calendar backgrounds

Inkstruck Studios Ι Uppercase Designs
Wazz Publishing Ι Red Stamp

november 2017 calendar backgrounds

Mel Armstrong Designs Ι Mospens
Paper Leaf Ι Apartment 406 Designs

november 2017 calendar wallpapers

Dawn Nicole Designs Ι Flipsnack
Minding My Nest Ι May Designs

november 2017 calendar wallpapers

Sarah Hearts Ι The Blog Market
Ban.do Ι Every Tuesday

My Whole30 Experience

whole 30 diet overview

So back in August I completed the Whole30 and I have been meaning to write a blog post about my overall experience but of course, life got in the way. My bad! I journaled how I was feeling throughout the whole experience (check them out here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and the Reintroduction Phase) but, I wanted to dive deeper into some of the things I liked and didn’t like and if I would ever consider completing this miserable diet ever again.

So Why The Whole30?

My reason for doing the Whole30 in one sentence, because I was beyond obsessed and addicted to sugar and didn’t know how to control myself. I tried The 21 Day Fix earlier this year and managed to lose weight but I think because you have to measure your foods and are only allowed to eat a certain number of servings a day from each food group, it wasn’t sustainable for me. Because let’s be honest, I am lazy AF. I had also tried Weight Watchers but again, since I am lazy AF, I hated typing everything into my diary to see how many points I used. With the Whole30, you can eat as much food as you want, as long as it meets the specific criteria. Not to mention, there are so many recipes and shopping guides for the Whole30 on Pinterest. All I really had to do was find a recipe I liked and use the guide to go shopping.

My Favorite Resources

Trader Joe’s Whole30 Compliant Foods

Whole30 Snacks

What I Liked.

So here are the things I did like on the Whole30….
For starters, I went to the gym a total of 2 times on the Whole30 and still managed to lose 11 pounds. Granted some of that was water weight but, I still lost weight. Prior to the Whole30, I was going to the gym 2 or 3 times a week and going to a spin class or long bike ride on the weekend but wasn’t really losing any weight. Probably because I was stuffing my face with cookies every night and justifying it with, ‘but I’m working out so it’s okay’. The Whole30 really showed me that, it’s not just about how often you work out or how many calories you burn working out, you have to eat the right food too.

Another thing that  I loved was that I could eat as much as I wanted. Yes, I was limited as to what kinds of foods I could eat but I could still eat as much food as I wanted to. I mean I think I ate potatoes at almost every meal because it was the closest thing to pasta and bread that I could have.  I also loved the fact that I didn’t have to measure anything or keep track of my calorie intake. I loathed that about my previous diets because it becomes such a pain in the ass and makes me not want to do it.

After the initial first few days of withdrawal hell, I felt really good. Instead of feeling sluggish and tired, I felt refreshed when I woke up and energized throughout the day. I continued to feel this way throughout the entire diet.

Pretty much all you can eat on the Whole30 is natural food and while it sucked, it felt like such a good change from all the sugary and processed food I had been eating. I never finished a meal feeling sick because everything I ate was natural, minimally processed food. I always felt good about what I was putting into my body and never, regretted eating anything.

What I Didn’t Like.

Of course, with positives come negatives. Here are the things that I didn’t like about the Whole30…
I seriously couldn’t eat like 95% of the food at the grocery store. Pretty much if it wasn’t found in the meat or produce department, I couldn’t eat it. I mean do you know how hard it is to find bacon with no added sugar? Well let me tell you, twenty labels and three grocery stores later, I found one brand! And it was twice as expensive as the other brands! It was super challenging to find prepared foods or minimally processed foods that were Whole30 friendly at the store but once I found something that was compliant and I liked it, I pretty much bought it every week.

So in theory, you can go out to eat on Whole30. You could eat at restaurants that serve sushi or Chipotle or most steakhouses but let’s be totally honest. Are you really going to want to sit with people eating rice and fried food and butter while you basically sit there eating protein and maybe some vegetables? Uh hell no! I went out to eat at a sushi restaurant once and was miserable the whole time because my boyfriend was chowing down on curry and rice while I was left eating chunks of tuna dipped in coconut amino acid. That being said, you basically have zero social life during the Whole30.

Another thing that I hated was the fact that there is zero cheating. It’s basically an all or nothing for 30 days. No cheat meals, no cheat days, I mean Jesus, not even a freaking cheat snack. Let’s be honest, sometimes after an awful day at work or when it’s that time of the month, you just want to relax and eat comfort food. But none of that here. Here, eat this Larabar because that’s the closest thing you’re going to get to dessert. Plus on top of that, you aren’t even supposed to replicate healthy versions of desserts.

I would say the worst part of the Whole30 was the awful mood I was in for almost an entire month. I found it so annoying and frustrating that I was constantly surrounded by food that I couldn’t eat. I would be eating my Epic Bar while watching people eat slices of cake, bread rolls, cheese. I mean all I wanted was a bite! Around 28 days in, I finally came to terms with how miserable my life was and I wasn’t in such an awful mood but at that point, I had two days left. Always such great timing.

Overall…

So overall I realized how sugar was in basically all foods, including foods that shouldn’t have any sugar in them (um hello bacon?!). Pretty much if you aren’t buying it from the produce section or from the butcher, it probably has some form of added sugar in it. Now when I am going grocery shopping and I am buying a food or brand I don’t normally buy, I read the label just to see what the ingredients are. I still stick to mostly compliant Whole30 foods, with the exception of hummus and peanut butter. Oh and desserts because I am weak AF.

That leads me to my next lesson, bad foods are okay in moderation. Sure it probably wouldn’t be a good idea if I ate several spoonfuls of peanut butter every day, but if I ate a tablespoon or two with my banana some mornings, that’s okay. Living life on a constant diet like Whole30 or paleo is pretty unrealistic because life happens. Some days you don’t have time to meal prep or cook dinner or maybe you’re on vacation in France and they don’t have Whole30 compliant restaurants because of its freaking France and that’s okay. Just eat the damn croissant and walk it off.

So would I do the Whole30 again? Absolutely. Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly challenging, frustrating and depressing most of the month but I felt very accomplished and good about my self after. I felt like my body needed a good reset and boy did it get it. I plan on doing shorter versions of the Whole30 in the future when I get back from vacation or after the holidays.

The biggest thing to remember is that a diet isn’t going to change your eating habits forever or keep the weight you have lost off. It is just a step in the right direction, towards a lifestyle change.

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October 2017 Wallpapers

october 2017 calendar backgrounds

Fall season is in full swing and pumpkin has taken over everything! Seriously cupcakes, candles, bread, coffee, air fresheners, I mean it is everywhere! And now, pumpkin can also take over your computer and phone. There are so many Halloween themed wallpapers, I am going to have such a hard time picking one! Last year I created a post with some ideas to host a witches brew with your girlfriends, check it out here. Enjoy my picks for October!
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october calendar backgrounds 2Designer Blogs Ι Red Stamp
By Dawn Nicole Ι Apartment 406 Designs
october calendar backgrounds 2Sarah Hearts Ι Every Tuesday
Smashing Magazine
october calendar backgrounds 2Minding My Nest Ι Pish and Posh Designs
Flipsnack Ι Paper Leaf
october calendar wallpapers 2Wazz Publishing Ι Sugar Paper LA
Inkstruck Ι Ban.do
october calendar wallpapers 2 Candidly Keri
To Live Beautifully Ι Uppercase Designs

october 2017 desktop wallpaperKelly Sugar Crafts Ι Britt Fabello
Rae Ritchie Ι Mospens Studio

Whole30 Reintroduction Phase

whole30 reintroduction phase

I seriously can not even believe that I completed the #Whole30. Six months ago, if you would have told me that I would be able to survive a month without sugar, dairy, and bread, I would have laughed in your face. Yet here we are and I still find myself laughing. I am only laughing because I was so miserable during the Whole30 and didn’t actually accept how awful my life was until like day 27. If you want to read my weekly recaps check them out here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.
Originally when I was planning my Reintroduction Phase, I was going to spread it across ten days but because of Hurricane Irma and my stress levels, I condensed it to 7. Check out my recap of my Whole30 Reintroduction Phase below!

PART 3- REINTRODUCTION PHASE

Day 1 [Reintroducing Legumes]
I have never been this excited about peanut butter in my life. I put it on my banana this morning and I swear I felt like someone could have cut off my fingers and I would have been okay with it, as long as I had that peanut butter and banana in my mouth. After that I proceeded to just eat the peanut butter straight and I was just in heaven. I got home and had peanut butter on my apple. I just couldn’t stop!

Day 2
Well this is super depressing. I ate so much peanut butter yesterday and now I can’t eat any. I put almond butter on my apple and it just wasn’t the same. Anyone who tells you that almond butter is better than peanut butter really needs to re-evaluate their life because peanut butter is LIFE. I also brought in chocolate chip cookies to work and I didn’t have one, not even a crumb. Before Whole30, I would have probably had like 3 and guess what, I don’t even like chocolate chip cookies! Since I felt fine today, I decided to skip the 2 days and have sushi tomorrow. Or maybe it’s because I am so freaking excited to eat sushi, I can’t wait any longer!

Day 3 [Reintroduting Nongluten Grains]
I feel like I have been waiting for this day my whole life. I looked at the sushi menu and I literally couldn’t even decide what to order because I wanted it all. Usually when I get sushi I get two rolls and they are most likely fried in some way. I decided to switch it up and ordered two raw rolls and two pieces of nigiri because everything is so much better with rice. Surprisingly, I only managed to eat half of each roll and a piece of nigiri before I tapped out. I swear the Whole30 made my stomach shrink because I was sooo full and couldn’t eat anymore after only one roll. Oh sushi how I missed you.

Day 4
Wow I woke up with a pounding headache and I am not sure if it is from the sushi or if I just randomly got a headache. I stuck to my usual Whole30 day eating wise, with the exception of some much needed Advil to get my headache under control. I felt better towards the end of the day but I am really hoping it wasn’t the sushi that gave me a headache because that would be really depressing for me. An Asian that can’t eat sushi, that sounds so unnatural and it even pains me to type it.

Day 5
Since I am not sure what caused my headache, I am sticking to my Whole30 diet today and not reintroducing any new food. Even though I know I am okay with peanut butter, I want to make sure my body feels good before I start to eat the reintroduced foods on a regular basis. Oh peanut butter, how much I miss you!

Day 6 [Reintroduce Dairy]
Ahh another day I have been waiting for. I already don’t drink milk so I don’t care about that but oh how I have missed cheese and ice cream. I decided to have a couple spoonfuls of Halotop Ice Cream, I know it’s not real ice cream but it’s what I had in my freezer. Either I haven’t had ice cream in such a long time so I forgot what it tasted like or Halotop is the shit. Birthday Cake Halotop everyday! I also had a few bites of coconut cream pie and it was soo tasty. But after three bites I felt content with how much I ate and didn’t feel like I needed to eat anymore. Man this Whole30 has really done a number on my sweet tooth, thank god. Maybe I have a chance at not becoming a diabetic after all.

Day 7 [Reintroduce Gluten Containing Grains]
So I woke up this morning feeling fine and when I got to the office, I found out they were having pizza delivered for lunch. I couldn’t say no! There were also some garlic knots but I told myself that if I ate pizza, I could only have one slice and I had to eat it with fruit. So I did and it was so delish. After I ate my slice, I felt full and content like I didn’t want another slice because I satisfied my pizza craving. I love pizza and only having one slice and feeling okay is a pretty big deal for me. Through the reintroduction phase, I have learned that things in moderation are okay and if I am craving something, it really only takes a few bites for me to satisfy my craving.

Whole30 Week 4 Recap

whole30 diet review

The end of the #whole30 challenge is near and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!! Thank god! I know this post is a little delayed but thanks to Hurricane Irma, I have been a little preoccupied and I just rejoined the world wide web this morning thanks to a 5 day no internet cleanse (thanks Spectrum!) In case you missed my first post on my #whole30 challenge, read it here, if you want to read my week 2 recap, read it here or if you want to read my third week of misery, catch it here. Read the last week of my Whole30 journey below!

PART 2- WEEK 4

Day 22
AM: Before I even thought about doing the Whole30, I made reservations to eat at Bern’s Steakhouse to celebrate my mom’s birthday. If you haven’t heard of Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa, look it up. It is a pretty well known steakhouse and they have their own Dessert Room upstairs (need I say more?!). When I decided to do the Whole30, I told myself that I would be able to cheat for this one meal because who the hell goes to Bern’s on a diet?! Well the day has finally come and I decided I need to stay strong and stick to my diet. I am not a steak eater, really even a beef eater so figuring out what to eat is going to be incredibly difficult. Ah hopefully I don’t stab myself with one of their fancy steak knives.

PM: What an incredibly hard dinner that was. Every time the waiter brought us food, I kindly said no and just watched my mom and brother eat it. I mean if I had to imagine the pain I would feel turning away $100 for no reason, this would be it. The worst part was the dessert room. I mean I LOVE DESSERT more than most things in life and while my brother ate his banana cheese pie and my mom had her dessert sampler, which had 5 different desserts, I ate a carrot cake Larabar. I SWEAR A PART OF ME DIED TONIGHT. The silver lining is that I ordered not one but two desserts to go to put in my freezer so I can enjoy them post Whole30. Muahahahaha.

whole 30 diet reviewMe staring at my moms desserts while she laughs at my misery.

Day 23
Today wasn’t too bad. My work has a program called Well-being Wednesday and they encourage you to wear workout clothes to work and they usually have different vendors there that are health and wellness related. Today Hand and Stone Massage was there giving massages. Oh how I love my job! Tomorrow I also have a biometric screening at work for my health insurance and talk about good timing. Since I have been doing the Whole30 and losing weight, I should pass all my numbers with flying colors. FINGERS CROSSED.

Day 24
OH MY GOD. I had my biometric screening today at work and I shit you not, I was in total shock. I passed all of my numbers for cholesterol, blood pressure, BMI (which has like never fucking happened before), triglycerides, I mean you name it and I passed it. When I did my screening in March this year, I didn’t pass my BMI and I was borderline with my cholesterol. I was shocked about my BMI because even though I had lost weight, I didn’t think it was enough to pass. I remember back when I was in college, I gained 30 pounds my sophomore year (ha screw the freshmen 15, I am an overachiever clearly.) I went to my annual and they decided to do some blood work since I had gained weight. When they checked my triglycerides, they were so high (like in the 230’s) that my doctor made me see a nutritionist. This time when they checked my triglyceride levels, they were 89!!! Like holy shit, talk about a 180! *picks up jaw off the ground*

Day 25
Que Vanessa Carlton’s Ordinary Day. I think now I have come to terms with how sucky my life has become when it comes to food. I only have 5 more days left and now I have come to terms with this diet. Story of my life.

Day 26
So tomorrow I am going to a Game of Thrones finale party and of course I decided that I was going to bake something to bring. Not just one cake BUT TWO AND SOME BAKED BRIE. Again, such an overachiever. I usually like to try new recipes when it comes to baking but since I can’t taste test any of it I decided to stick to my boxed mix (tweaked with some extra ingredients) and a cream cheese recipe that had like 2000 positive reviews on All Recipes. Ugh making cakes when you cant have any is hard, I mean a little piece of me died when I walked to the sink to wash the dishes without licking the bowl or spatula. Who does that?! I have good faith that these cakes will look and taste delish though!

Day 27
OMG as if decorating these cakes wasn’t enough, having to look and smell them all day was down right torturous! Not to mention the baked brie that looked SOOO good. They were all a huge hit at the party and I was a sad little girl eating my Whole30 orange chicken I made while everyone was eating dinner rolls and cheese. I did manage to save myself a slice of each so I can taste them post Whole30. I swear right now my freezer looks like the dessert section of Publix and I’m not angry about it.

Day 28
Started off my day running late and when I got to work I realized I forgot my laptop at home. That has pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day. I could really use a Dunkin Donuts iced latte and a doughnut to make me feel better. But instead I’ll have a cup of beef bone broth and a bowl of mixed berries, same thing right?

Day 29
SWEET BABY JESUS, THE END IS NEAR. Of course, now that I am finally used to the Whole30, I am almost done with it. I am going to do a reintroduction phase after I am done so technically I still have another 11 days left but still. SO CLOSE

Day 30
Ah the last day. I imagine the way I feel right now is the same way people feel when they are on ecstasy,  so excited you just want to dance! I keep thinking about all the desserts I have stockpiled in my freezer and which one I am going to have first. After the reintroduction phase of course tehehe. I made a list of the different foods I am going to eat during the reintroduction phase and I am sooooo excited to eat sushi again. I mean I am half Asian, eating rice like 3x a week is in my blood, its only natural I am most excited to eat it again. Oh an peanut butter, peanut butter is LIFE.  I went to a spin class today and had a really good ride. I wasn’t in the mood to go but when I got there I told myself to finish strong and really pushed myself. I am so happy I am about to finally cross the finish line.

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September 2017 Wallpapers

september 2017 calendar backgrounds

Happy September guys! I’m sure you might have noticed a couple new things on the blog. I felt like after a year and a half, it needed a little face lift. I hope you like the new blog and logo and hopefully, it’s easier for you to find what you’re looking for. Let me know what you think!
ICYMI (in case you missed it, for those of you who don’t know what ICYMI stood for) I was completing the #Whole30 in August and have weekly posts about my experience. Check out Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3! I am currently doing the reintroduction phase so I am not totally out of the woods yet but I’ll be posting my Week 4 in a few days and an overview post so stay tuned!
Oh and we also launched a Blazers and Blue Jeans Instagram so be sure to give us a follow @blazersandbluejeans!

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eptember 2017 calendar backgrounds

ban.do Ι Inkstruck Studio
Clementine Creative Ι Wazz Publishing

eptember 2017 calendar backgrounds

By Dawn Nicole Ι Red Stamp
Flipsnack Ι Designer Blogs

eptember 2017 calendar backgrounds

Mel Armstrong Ι Minding My Nest
Kelly Sugar Crafts Ι Virgo and Paper

eptember 2017 calendar backgrounds

Soggy Musings Ι Loveilee
Smashing Magazine Ι Candidly Keri

eptember 2017 calendar backgrounds

Kate Spade Ι Sarah Hearts
Every Tuesday Ι Sugar Paper LA

september 2017 calendar wallpapers

Susan Chiang Ι Edens Garden
To Live Beautifully Ι Meschroniques Beaute

september 2017 calendar wallpapers

Lilly and Val Ι Giants and Pilgrims
Clara Bour Ι Britt Fabello

september 2017 calendar wallpapers

Paper Leaf Ι Rae Ritchie
Going Home to Roost Ι May Designs