What's Up Wednesday - October 2016

It's the end of the month AGAIN.  Where did October go?  I feel like it was only yesterday that I celebrated New Years, and now the end of the year is quickly approaching again. 

Last month I not only started this blog, I also initiated participating in this monthly questionnaire on the last Wednesday of every month to provide a little insight into what's happening with me aside from the things I may have already shared this month.  I'm linking up with Sheaffer, Shay, and Mel who originated the idea!

What I'm eating this week:

I am in the final week of my second month of Whole 30.  I have been rather diligent in maintaining the dietary restrictions without any issues or cravings thus far.  I don't know why I decided to continue into a 2nd month other than I've been breezing  along in my routine and didn't see a reason to stop.  As noted before, technically I failed Whole 30 because I never stopped drinking.  But, this is real life for real people and we all have vices so I cut myself some slack!  I've been cooking this month but mostly for myself (unfortunately).  I'm sharing a new Paleo dinner idea next Monday, and in case you missed my previous posts for dinner ideas you can find them here:  Paleo rosemary chicken and turnip pasta, Paleo Crock-pot Cajun chicken and shrimp plus pumpkin dessert, Paleo coconut crusted chicken with sweet potatoes and vegetables, and Paleo cauliflower Alfredo with ground turkey and spaghetti squash.  These are just the ones from October.  There's a couple more I've shared in September that you can check out too!

It's safe to say, I eat pretty well regardless if I am cooking for myself or not.  Below is an example of something I threw together one evening when I had ZERO energy or effort to feed myself.  I used my...drum roll...Copper Chef pan (of course!) to make the chicken with no oil.  I sauteed onions first and then added in the chicken with paprika, turmeric, pink Himalayan salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.  I wasn't aiming for a specific taste, just used the spices I use most.  I tossed the chicken onto some arugula and added avocado for the win.  It was good.  It was healthy.  It was Paleo and Whole 30.  It was tasty.  And more than anything - it got the job done!  Notice, I didn't even get out my charger and sit at the table either.  I was working on the list you see there above the plate. =)

What I'm reminiscing about...

Short and simple: this time last year with the loved one.  A lot can change in year especially when it moves at lightening speed.  October 2015 was full of many adventures, as well as me having just started at my current firm (with my same boss), and then the rest of 2015 brought many more fun things especially for the holidays.  This is my favorite time of year!  Well, mainly after Halloween.  I've never enjoyed dealing with costumes, etc. as noted in a previous post, but I have enjoyed the crafting aspect of it when making things for some kiddos

A Halloween game I put together for the girls.

A Halloween game I put together for the girls.

What I'm loving...

Truthfully I wouldn't normally say anything like this, but lately it's been shoes!  *GASP!*  That is very unlike me, however the new shoes I've been acquiring lately have gotten me perked up.  I think perhaps it has to do with the fact that I only wear flats to work now.  So for over a year, 5 days a week, I am in flats...with the exception of winter time when I can wear my boots to work too.  It's only when I go out to dinner or an event that I doll up my feet.  You can peruse my favorite boots below that include the ones I wear to work.

What I've been up to...

October was a hectic month for me.  Work has been busy.  Life has been busy.  My mind has been busy.  My blog has been busy.  But, it's all good things.  I traveled on a 48 road trip with my brother, sister-in-law, and four beautiful nieces from Houston, TX to Flagstaff, AZ during the first weekend of October.  Who does that?  Me.  I flew home from Flagstaff that Sunday evening.

A quick smooch at a Carlsbad Caverns gift shop!

 The following weekend was pretty relaxed with the loved one, but we did make a day trip to Dallas to watch the University of Texas vs OU game and fit in a 6 mile sunrise run.  The 3rd weekend of October I flew to Atlanta and drove 3 hours to see my family in Tennessee for a couple of days.  

Flying provides ample opportunity to catch up on my magazines.  Fall inspiration?  Don't mind if I do!

Flying provides ample opportunity to catch up on my magazines.  Fall inspiration?  Don't mind if I do!

A Tennessee sunset.  It was too pretty not to share.  #takemeback

A Tennessee sunset.  It was too pretty not to share.  #takemeback

Aside from traveling this month I have had plenty of other things to going on.  I've had a wedding to attend, a baby shower, a wine pairing dinner, dinner with friends, crafting Halloween goodies for the girls, etc.  Factor in my early morning work outs and this lady is tired.  This past weekend I finally rested, if you can call it that, and tried to do as little as possible.

What I'm dreading...

This section is hard for me.  I do not believe in dreading anything, as I noted in last month's What's Up Wednesday.  It just isn't in my nature to dread.  I feel a lot of things, sometimes too much, but dread isn't one of them.  It's a total waste of negative energy.  

What I'm working on...

Myself.  My life.  My relationships.  My job.  My blog.  I've learned in this past month that I have quite a bit of work to do within myself so I plan to shift focus back to me to reevaluate when and how I got so off track, resolve any hurt that is lingering, and work on focusing on the positive in everything like I used to do.  God is so good to me and yet I have allowed myself to waste precious time holding on to some things I never needed to hold on to in the first place.  2 Chronicles 20:15 says, "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God's" .  And it's true!  I am required to forgive, I am required to love.  The rest will be handled by God.  How rewarding is that?  Self admission is good sometimes. I can't acknowledge enough that I am not a perfect person so I hope to never come across that way.  In fact, that is why I sometimes share too much.  It is humbling.  I'm perfectly imperfect.  Perhaps I'll have a positive update on self improvement next month!  Meanwhile, I read a couple of quotes the other day that spoke to me. 

Love covers a multitude of sins. Humility knows it has many sins that need covering, too.
— MatthewLJacobson.com
We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.
— Ernest Hemingway

What I'm watching/reading...

Ok, so truth be told (again), I rarely watch TV and if I do turn it on I find something I'm familiar with to just have noise on in the background.  I have admittedly played and re-played Christmas Vacation over and over again most nights while I'm working on other things, sprinkled in with other Christmas movies (can you tell I'm ready for Christmas?) or Hocus Pocus because it's Halloween time.  I need to branch out of the 90's, clearly.

I am currently reading Luke in the bible, Joyce Meyer's Living Beyond Your Feelings, and when I run on the treadmill - I am still reading Emily Giffin's book First Comes Love.  I haven't ran on the treadmill in a while so my reading of First Comes Love is WAY behind.  I read one chapter of Living Beyond Your Feelings per day.  I finished The Battle Plan for Prayer last week and will share my review on that later!

First Comes Love: A Novel
By Emily Giffin

What I'm wearing...

Now THIS I am excited to share!  Well, just a teaser I guess.  I have a blog post coming on Friday about these CUTE heeled booties.  I am in love with them.  They're cute and comfortable.  I have worn them every opportunity I have had in the past week and a half that I have had them.  Exhibit A and B are below.  But, I must make you wait to learn more about them on Friday because I preemptively created that blog post before remembering I needed to do complete this What's Up Wednesday post.  Aren't the shoes CUUUTTTTEEEE!!!  And yes, those are the same black slacks/capris on two different days.  Don't judge.  It was too warm during the day for black leggings and I need a tan for a dress. ;)  You know the drill.

Exhibit A = awkward selfie number 1

Exhibit B = awkward selfie number 2

What I'm doing this weekend...

I am honestly not sure at the moment.  I know what I hope to be doing, where I hope to be, and who I hope to spend it with.  But, as for now I am uncertain.

What I'm looking forward to next month...

For the month of November, I am looking forward to cooler weather, birthday celebrations, Friendsgiving, and Thanksgiving.  I don't know what November will bring otherwise, but I am praying to the good Lord for some miracles.  I am also participating in the MD Anderson 2016 Give Cancer the Boot Walk in honor of my friend's father who went on to be with our Heavenly Father last year.  We will be walking on November 12th which is also her birthday and we're raising money for the cause.  If you would like to contribute to my fundraising, please do!  Here is the link.

What else is new...

My hair cut!  I do not take many risks and definitely not with my hair.  I've had long hair all of my life except the one time I cut it to my shoulders when I was 16 and hated it.  I was finally ready for something different, a little more stylish (if I can ever say that about myself), and easier to deal with.  I have loved it.  

There's a whole lot of selfies in this post.  I am not getting used to it.  Nothing against anyone who takes selfies all the time, or anyone who has pictures taken of themselves all the time for work/blogging.  This has just been one of the harder parts of blogging for me! 

Bonus question: What is your favorite Halloween memory/picture/tradition?

I am not really a Halloween person (introvert) so the effort of figuring out a costume and being is large crowds can really stress me out.  However, my favorite Halloween memory is from last year with the loved one.  We dressed up as Mr. Big and Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City because my nickname for him is Mr. Big or just Big (because my boss and he have the same name, I use a nickname for him).  It was an easy outfit to assemble and he totally fit the bill in the dreamiest of ways.  However, my favorite picture from Halloween has always been of my boys, Romeo and Beckett.  I used to dress them up for every holiday and occasion possible and towards the end would also set up props for their photo shoots. ;) Just you WAIT for Thanksgiving pics of them next month...pilgrims!

Note:  I no longer have my boys post divorce.  After a custody struggle I relented to let their father keep them.  My heart has never been the same and I have grieved that decision for almost 5 years now.  So, if and when I mention them on my site I will add this disclaimer.  I just have a ton of holiday pictures of them that NEED to be shared so these next couple of months will spot light my two loves.