Holiday Habits

Clayton and I spent the week of Thanksgiving in Texas, and we had a great time! I tried to plan in advance how to accommodate this habit while away from home for 3 days, but the best laid plans of mice and men…

Texas Smoothie Plan

Tuesday – green smoothie from Jamba Juice.

Wednesday – lunch and green smoothie at Vegeria.

Thursday – buy ingredients to make a smoothie at family’s house.

Texas Smoothie Reality

Tuesday – Success!

Wednesday – Naked Juice green smoothie.

Thursday – forced down a Boathouse green smoothie after our second Thanksgiving dinner.

Vacations with family always seem to get away from me. There are so many people to see, and I always underestimate the time it will take to do anything. Also people don’t just go along with my plans like I anticipate they will. At 5 pm on Wednesday, when I realized that we would not be able to accomplish my smoothie plans, I took advantage of a Walgreen’s pit stop to stock up on backup smoothie options.

Naked juice and Boathouse were not ideal solutions, but it was unrealistic of me to expect to be able to take over my aunt’s kitchen on Thanksgiving to make a green smoothie. A good lesson that I have learned in building these habits is to be flexible. I need to make this habit work in my normal life, and that means adjusting to hectic schedules while still making this habit a priority.

I’m glad to be back on track, and drinking our home-made smoothies. Do you have any holiday smoothie recipes? Please share them in the comments!

Discarding Drill: Clothes

Phase 1 of the KonMari method is to sort through and discard all the clothes in your house that do not spark joy. I thought it would be best for Clayton and I to pull out all of our clothes at the same time, so we spent an entire day working on this project.

Step 1.  Search every closet, drawer, and laundry area for clothes.

We had clothes in every room of the house, and I didn’t even realize it. Here are some pictures I took before we got started.

FindClothes FindClothes2FIndclothes3

Step 2.  Place every item of clothing on the floor in one area.

This is the part of the process where I regretted ever picking up the book! Our living room was a disaster, and we could barely walk through the mess. It was too late to turn back so onwards and upwards!


Cori’s pile of tops.

Step 3.  Sort items in the following categories:

  • Tops
  • Bottoms
  • Hanging clothes (coats, jackets, suits, etc)
  • Pajamas
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Bags
  • Accessories
  • Clothes for specific events (uniforms, swimsuits, etc)
  • Shoes

Step 4.  Begin deciding – touch every item and ask, “does this spark joy?”

We started with off-season tops and worked our way down the list. This order really does help to build momentum. By the time I got to the shoes, which I thought were going to be the hardest to part with, I was so frustrated with myself for having all this junk that I was able to blow through the pile very quickly.

Our donate and sell piles.
Our donate and sell piles.

We sorted our clothes into 4 piles:

  1. Keep
  2. Donate
  3. Sell
  4. Trash

All of our clothes now fit in the master bedroom storage space. This is not the final storing solution, so those pictures will be coming in a later post.

This process is physically and mentally exhausting. I wanted to quit once we started step 2 and take a nap half way through step 4. It was a great relief to finally finish, and Clayton and I aren’t dreading the next phase of discarding books!

Have you ever tried sorting through every article of clothing you own? Please share your experience in the comments!

Smoothie Sunday – The Middle

I’m half way through the initial 66 days of building this smoothie habit. Let’s take a look at the numbers!

Action Plan Progress:

  • 36 of 66 consecutive days of drinking a fruit and vegetable smoothie.
  • Smoothies have been consistently prepared on the weekend.
  • 36 of 66 photos with smoothie recipes shared on Instagram.
  • 1 of 2 books read on food science.
  • 0 of 2 cooking classes taken that will help us get more vegetables in our meals.
  • 1 of 3 new restaurants with vegetarian options visited.
  • My weight has not changed since adding smoothies to my diet.
  • 6 of 11 weekly posts shared.

Grade: B

2 cups chard, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1/2 pear, and 1 cup water.

Lessons Learned:

Overall I feel like I am making good progress on this habit. I was disappointed to see that there has been no change in my weight, but eating more fruits and vegetables is better than not. Not everything is dependent on a scale, and that was not the primary objective in developing this habit. I need to get on the ball with the cooking classes, but everything this time of year is related to Thanksgiving. Ah, I’m sure something will turn up!

Mixing up the ingredients by usings fruits and vegetables that I wouldn’t normally eat has kept up my enthusiasm. This project would be tedious if we ate the same thing over and over. My favorite new fruit in smoothies is honeydew and vegetable is chard.

I’m happy that we have made it to the half way point, but this is where things will get more difficult. With Thanksgiving this week I am worried that we might fall off the wagon with all the travel. Please share any helpful tips and tricks you have about eating well while traveling in the comments!

Tidy Travels – The Start

Clayton and I are moving, and I am going to take this opportunity to try something new for my blog!

Over the summer I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I plan to track my progress implementing the KonMari method rather than stretching this out as a daily habit over 66 days. I will be posting about each stage of discarding before the move and storing strategies after the move.

Start Date: Thursday, 11/19/2015

Projected End Date: Thursday, 12/24/2015

Action Plan:

  • Post weekly progress on discarding in the order recommended by Marie Kondo
    1. Clothes
    2. Books
    3. Papers
    4. Misc
    5. Mementos
  • Complete discarding and packing by Thursday, 12/10/2015
  • Post about storing techniques
  • Keep a photo journal

Incentive: Monthly cleaning service at the new house!

Lofty Goal: Being healthy and giving generously

Tidying up fits in the health category because of the peace of mind I feel when I am in a tidy space. I also choose to list philanthropy because the discarding process will give us the opportunity to donate a lot of the things just taking up space.

Moving is hard, but Clayton and I have done more than our fair share. I am hoping that implementing the KonMari method will help us get a jump start on packing so that it’s not a mad rush the week of our move.

Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing or other organizational books? Please share any tips or tricks in the comments!

Inspiration and Implementation: Smoothies


My smoothie inspiration board is starting to take shape. Here are the top resources I have pinned so far.

  1. Inspirational Instgramers

There are some really fancy smoothie photographs on Instagram. It has definitely inspired me to try and step up my photo-journal game. Some of the recipes I have tried have been successful, but mostly all of these enticing smoothie pictures keep me on track with my own daily habit.

2. Simple Green Smoothies

This website has a number of excellent smoothie recipes. They also run a 30-day challenge that sends you weekly emails with recipes, shopping lists, and interesting articles and reference material. The next challenge will start 01/01!

3. Quick Guides

I have pinned a number of quick guides, and they have certainly helped me when shopping for ingredients. I don’t always want to follow a specific recipe so it is good to have a general formula to follow. I have stuck pretty close to the 2 cups leafy greens, 1-2 cups of fruit, and 1 cup water.

4. Epica Stainless Steel Drinking Straws, Set of 4- Free Cleaning Brush Included

These stainless steel straws were a recommendation from my friend, Amy. My shipment is already on the way and I cannot wait to try them out. Another benefit of sharing my experiences online is the feedback, encouragement, and suggestions I get from friends and follower to help me build this habit.

Green smoothies are a very hot trend right now, and I am glad to have a place to house all of these great resources. Please share some of your favorite sites in the comments!

Smoothie Science

Green smoothies are all the rage right now, but a few people, including my mom, said to be careful because drinking my veggies might not be as healthy as eating them. So I thought it would be a good idea to look into the pros and cons of green smoothies.

I started my research at the USDA and Mayo Clinic and found they both have recipes for green smoothies. That seems like a good endorsement to me.

The articles I found on the the Washington Post, Time, and USA Today seem to have balanced reports on the topic. They linked to similar studies and interviewed nutritional experts. While green smoothies are not as nutritious as eating whole fruits and vegetables they are a good way to get people to add fruits and vegetables to their diets. Also green smoothies shouldn’t be a meal replacement unless you try to balance the carbs with proteins and good fats.

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Nothing I read has made me want to give up this green smoothie habit. I will increase my vegetable to fruit ratio going forward, and use 3 cups of vegetables to 1 cup of fruit. I will also keep using ingredients that we wouldn’t normally eat whole, like carrots and beets.

Have you read any persuasive/ fact based articles on smoothie science? Please share the link in the comments. Cheers!

Book Breakdown: Food Rules

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual is a short book that expands on the manifesto Pollan presented in his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual is a list of 64 easy to understand rules about the practical application of this manifesto.

I read this book in one sitting. The rules are grouped under each section of the manifesto and Pollan recommends adopting one from each section. These are the three rules that resonated with me:

Eat Food: “Avoid food products that make health claims.”

Mostly Plants: “Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.”

Not Too Much: “The banquet is in the first bite.”

Some of the rules have a paragraph or two explaining them, but for the most part they are pretty self explanatory. This book does not go into the extensive research that Pollan presented in his previous book, and I was more receptive to the message in Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual because I had read In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto first. I would these books together for anyone looking to reevaluate their eating habits.

Have you read these or any of Michael Pollan’s other books on nutrition? What are your thoughts on his manifesto and rules?