30 Days of Brave Challenge

I can’t say enough good things about these Lavash wraps.  The texture, how easy they are to turn into wraps without tearing, how filling – I can’t wait to try making a pizza with one on my baking steel.

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I found them on the same aisle as the bread and tortillas at Walmart.  Although I will say that they are out of them a lot, so when I find them, I stock up.  I bought that package on May 26 – so with a use by date of June 10, they have a pretty good shelf life.  Not sure how they would be frozen and defrosted though.  I made a ham, egg white and lite mozzarella cheese wrap (6) with the sweetest strawberries for dessert.

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Even though I have a dedicated lunch from 12:30 – 1:30 so that I guarantee to leave my desk, I had a doc that needed to get out, so missed my window to walk with my sister.  I finally left at 1:15 and walked south and found another smaller farmers market.  You know I had to get some cheese – I’ll show you that later, but I got a $3 section of a spreadable white cheddar with a pistacchio crust – yum!  And I bought another basket of cremini mushrooms from River Valley Kitchens.

market

I recently received some turkey loot at my friends from Jennie-O Turkey.  I am a 2017 Ambassador for them, and was thrilled to try out this turkey.  I accidentally threw out the package, so thanks google for this pic.

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4 ounces for 2 points –I love that you can cut it thick or thin, It’s fully cooked so you could throw it in a fried rice, or in soup, or on top of a chopped salad.

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This sammie was delish – four ounces oc turkey (2), lite mozzarella (1), spinach, mustard, the lavash (2) and veggie straws (4) with sliced apple.  9 points for lunch.

I knew I wanted to grill last night, which meant I had to take into consideration how long it would take for my coals to get to temperature, so I had a Premier Protein shake on the train home.  I asked for a doppio shot in a Venti cup over ice.  It costs $2.17 and as luck would have it, I had $2.15 left on a gift card, so this only cost me two cents. Open-mouthed smile  I really love the caramel flavor.

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It’s the perfect snack because I didn’t walk in the door starving and eat my way through meal prep before my dinner is even ready.

I got more loot when I got home – this time from Simple Girl products.  You all know what a condiment whore I am, and when they told me that their products were low or no sugar, I was instantly intrigued.  You would be surprised at how much sugar is hidden in a lot of condiments.

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I decided to use the sample pack of the balsamic vinaigrette to marinate my veggies – the whole package was only 15 calories for 1.5 ounces and I marinated the veggies for about 30 minutes while I lit the grill and got everything else ready for dinner.

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If you are looking for a lean cut of beef, look for sirloin tip steak in your local grocery store.  It’s super tender, not a lot of fat, but just enough to give it some flavor.  This is the regular store price – $3.49 a pound.  I’ll easily get two more meals out of my steak – Jacob ate all of his.  😀  

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5 ounces of beef is 4 points, 5.5 ounces potato (that I nearly burned!) was 4 and the rest is zero.

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These mushrooms are amazing!  they held onto the marinade.  I still can’t believe I didn’t like mushrooms until a few years ago.

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You know I am all about challenges – although sometimes I declare a challenge and then by day five just stop talking about it and pretend that I never joined a challenge.

But this one is different.  It’s a 30 Days of Brave Challenge.  It can be anything you want it to be.  You will get daily emails that will help reaffirm whatever it is that you choose.  For me?  Self-Love and no binge eating for 30 days.  And by binge eating I mean not eating half a bag of Doritos because they are in the pantry, or stopping at CVS on my way home to buy gummies.  No keeping food in my bedside table anymore (you know, just in case I have low blood sugar – can’t use that as an excuse to keep peanut m&m’s in there and eat them even if my blood sugar isn’t low).  You get the idea.

I plan on keeping up my journal for 30 days as well.  I know that keeps me focused too.   I just thought I would share this challenge in case it’s something that could help you along your journey, no matter what that is.

I can’t even believe it’s the last day of May already – this year is flying by.   Before we know it, we’ll start seeing school supplies at Walmart.

Make it a great day!  Let me know if you decide to join the challenge – there is strength in numbers! 😀

East Carolina BBQ Sauce

Going into this weekend, I had a couple of events that I knew could throw me off my plan, but that I semi planned for.  The first one was a birthday party on Saturday – I enjoyed two beers and half a sandwich, and managed to avoid the cheese tray and the ice cream cookie dessert.

On Sunday, my twin sister and I met up with our best friends who are twins to meet at Wildfire.  I always get a burger at Wildfire because they are amazing.  I even told my sister earlier in the week that I was going to get one.  But when I woke up, I asked myself – do you really want to spend 40 points on lunch?

I ordered the shrimp cocktail with a side of broccoli with lemon vinaigrette, and had two glasses of wine.  It was perfect.  I wasn’t overly stuffed, because as much as I would think I’d only eat half of the burger, I knew I would eat it all, as well as all the fries.

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So remember how I told you last week that I just up and decided to rip up the back carpet on my back stairs – with no plan in mind?   Even Roman was like “what the F?!”

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I think I showed you all the layers that were part of the back room – my house was build in 1922, and I think that this back part of the house at one time may have been a three season porch as one time?

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I was blown away when Jacob told me he bought me new flooring, and he, Hannah and Jacob’s Dad spent hours peeling up the old flooring, sanding, sawing.   Not only did they pay for everything, I also found out that they paid some of Jacob’s Dad’s bills to thank him for his time.  So thoughtful.

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It turned out beautiful.  I am planning on hiring the guy who painted the rest of my house come in and pain the paneling the same grey color that’s in the front of the house, and stain all the wood beams from the front of the house to the back of the house so they are all the same. 

And the front of my house that’s been stacked with boxes for the move that Hannah and Jacob didn’t make, Hannah finally got to a point where she was over the disappointment of not moving out, and the clutter trumped her disappointment.  So on Sunday night, we did a clean sweep, and yesterday morning it was so calming to walk out of my bedroom and see this:

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Not only is my house put back together, but since my boss was out of town last week, I finally got rid of a bunch of stuff to offsite storage, and have my desk exactly the way I want it.  There is just something so calming about having things in order.  And it reflects my eating as well.  I had no temptation to each any junk this weekend at all.  It feels good to be back in control.

My Mom came over yesterday, and we had plans to go to a thrift store that was having a 50% off the entire store sale.  I didn’t want to be tied to my grill yesterday, so I pre-grilled a pork roast on Sunday to make chopped pork sandwiches.  That’s grilled sweet potato on the board too – so good!

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Obligatory picture of me and my Mom – spending yet another holiday together.  Once again proving that I am her favorite child.  Oh, and your welcome for the no make up!

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When my Mom comes over I try to fix her stuff that she wouldn’t cook just for herself.  She’s a great cook, but living alone, she’s not about to buy a 4 pound pork shoulder just for herself.

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Her Dad, my grandpa, who died when I was 11, still made the best North Carolina BBQ I’ve ever eaten.  Let me clarify that – best EASTERN North Carolina BBQ.  And that’s a pretty impressionable food memory to have nearly 38 years later.  I think that’s where I got my love of spicy food and vinegar from – I remember a carafe of hot vinegar peppers on my grandparents dinner table when we went to visit.  While my Aunt Martha makes the second best North Carolina BBQ, this is a close third.

East Carolina BBQ is always vinegar based, and what I would call a “mop” sauce.  Next time I will definitely use this as a mop, but since its a new recipe, I didn’t want to put it on there and people not like it, but my Mom and Jacob loved it.  #winning

My Aunt Martha does her pork bbq in the crock pot, cooking it slowly overnight, then dousing it with generous pours of vinegar, Tabasco sauce and crushed red pepper.  She also chops her pork up really fine.  Since Hannah wasn’t eating any, I just did a rough chop on the pork.

And a pork bbq sandwich wouldn’t be complete without topping it with cole slaw! 

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East Carolina BBQ Sauce
Serves 20
A delicious vinegar based bbq "mopping" sauce - can be used to mop your pork while it grills, or drizzle over your grilled pork sandwich.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
13 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
13 min
Total Time
15 min
32 calories
7 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
41 g
490 g
6 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
41g
Servings
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 32
Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 490mg
20%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  2. 1 cup ketchup
  3. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon salt
  5. 1 teasoon crushed red pepper
  6. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon onion powder
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients into a stock pot, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it boils, boil for one minute while whisking, then remove from the heat and let cool. Store in a mason jar.
beta
calories
32
fat
0g
protein
0g
carbs
7g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
It was a great weekend.  I stayed on track – used some weekly points, but still have 18 points for the next few days before Thursday’s WI, I didn’t declare it “holiday weekend!” and just go crazy with the eating and drinking to get “back on” today.  I just followed the program, much like I did in January and February and it felt good to be back in control of my eating, instead of it controlling me.

I’ll leave you with this picture of Hannah and Jacob’s dogs – they love me so!  Turns out I love them too Open-mouthed smile

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Premier Protein–Your New BFF for Weight Loss

I get a lot of requests each week to partner with certain products, links to articles, advertising – most of which I just immediately delete after receiving them because I am not going to promote anything that I don’t already use, or think that other people will find value with.

I am happy to say that I am a Premier Protein Ambassador!  I tried to jump on the protein bar/protein shake bandwagon several times.  Only one teeny tiny problem.  Turns out most of those have some sort of ingredient in them that makes me need to find a bathroom within five minutes after eating/drinking such products.  Not going to name and any names (ahem, Pure Protein, EAS, Atkins, – just to name a few).

So I tried Premier Protein after Instagram Weight Watcher peeps were buying these 2 smart point shakes and adding them to a two shot espresso from Starbucks.  A great, quick on the go mini breakfast as I like to call it – for only 160 calories and a whopping 30 grams of protein.  I recently bought an espresso machine at Goodwill, so now can make my drink to go at home, saving me $2.17 a day. Open-mouthed smile

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I recently made vanilla coffee protein pancakes using the powdered protein mix:

coffee protein pancakes

But yesterday?  Holy balls, I made the best fluffy protein pancakes out there. 

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I am calling these Elvis Banana Pancakes because they have banana, peanut butter AND bacon.  And each fluffy pancake is only 4 smart points.  I use the Weight Watchers recipe builder to figure out  the points using my exact ingredients, so please don’t go by the nutrition label that is auto generated on generic ingredients.  My guess is that each pancakes is about 170 calories.

 

Elvis Protein Pancakes
Serves 8
A great, protein packed breakfast using Premier Protein.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
326 calories
37 g
71 g
17 g
8 g
9 g
131 g
67 g
12 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
131g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 326
Calories from Fat 147
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
26%
Saturated Fat 9g
44%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 71mg
24%
Sodium 67mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 37g
12%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 12g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
14%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
11%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. • 1.5 cups flour
  2. • 3 teaspoon baking poweder
  3. • 1/2 teaspon salt
  4. • 2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter (I used PB2)
  5. • 1/4 cup sugar
  6. • 1 large egg
  7. • 1/4 cup Premier Protein vanilla milkshake protein powder
  8. • one 11 ounce container of Premier Protein prepared bananas and cream shake
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, peanut butter powder and protein powder and mix with a whisk, just until combined. Add in the egg and bananas and cream shake, and using a fork, mix just until combined. It’s okay if it’s a bit lumpy. Now here is the secret to fluffy pancakes. Let your batter sit a minimum of 15 minutes to let the baking powder do its magic. I used a 1/3 measuring cup to get 8 fluffy pancakes. Just cook with a lid on your pan between flips – because these are so fluffy, the lid helps steam the pancakes so they cook in the middle too.
beta
calories
326
fat
17g
protein
8g
carbs
37g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
For my breakfast yesterday I took the top pancake (4 points) used my sugar free syrup (1), ate all the banana and blackberries, the tablespoon of real bacon bits (1) and the two slices of peppered bacon for a very filling and protein packed 6 point breakfast.

I have also tried their protein bars:

images

They are 8 smart points.  I’ve eaten half for breakfast on the train before work if I am extra hungry, and saved the second half for the train ride home so I don’t feel like I have to eat the second I walk in the door.

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I also like to chop up half a bar and top it on my parfaits for a bit of texture.  I think the chocolate one tastes just like a snickers bar.

I now have found these products at Walgreen’s, CVS, Walmart and Sam’s Club.  Sam’s Club by me (Chicago area) is the cheapest – a 12 pack for only $16.68. 

Have you tried Premier Protein yet?  If other protein products bothered you in the past, I’d recommend trying these.  I am down 15 pounds this year, and I think in part because I’ve been able to drink a 2 point shake on my train ride home and have time to make a sensible dinner instead of coming home starving and driving through the Burger King drive through.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Note: This is a sponsored recipe post.  However, I will only endorse products I use and recommend.

Weekly WI +1.8

With my attitude adjustment, my mind set suddenly shifted and I had the perfect Weight Watchers day, despite a gain of 1.8.  I passed by all the pastries at the farmers market and bought more of my favorite mushrooms. 

I packed an egg white omelette with 2 tablespoons real bacon bits and Trader Joe’s lite mozzarella (4) topped with 1/3 cup canned potatoes that I sautéed in 1/2 teaspoon ghee and paprika (2). 


The mango I got at Sams Club is still rock hard and not very flavorful 😞 

I had a last minute document I had to get out and wasn’t able to go to my Weight Watchers meeting, so I will attend my local one tomorrow.  I finally left for lunch at 1:45 and walked to Mariano’s to get some soup to go with my roast beef roll ups. 

I took pictures of my lunch and seriously thought it looked like food scooped out of the garbage. 


What you have there is deli roast beef stuffed with baby spinach, topped with mustard and giardiniera, steamed broccoli and vegetarian chili. Lunch came in at 7 points.

Someone signed up for night secretary so I had to stick around.  After working on my own stuff for an hour, the attorney came up to my desk at 6 and said he didn’t need my help anymore. I was able to catch the 6:25 express train and got to my train station at 7:30.

I have timehop to thank for my dinner.  Long time readers will remember I wasn’t working last May so had all the time in the world to get the perfect shot.  This was last years photo of my grilled shrimp scampi with crispy polenta.

It was getting dark by the time I finished making my dinner – my pictures don’t do this dinner any justice:


And because my house is still a construction zone, check out where I had to put my light box.


I am pretty sure that’s how professional food photographers roll. 

With my coffee creamer and a serving of Trader Joe’s kettle rice cakes, I came in at 29 points for the day.  Now I just need to string a lot of on track days together to see a loss on the scale this week.

I’ll leave you with cute dog pics – hope you have a wonderful long weekend!

Attitude Adjustment

Last night I was reading through some of my old blog posts while the construction crew were working.  I was told unequivocally that I was not to help.

And not surprisingly, I read several posts where I put myself down because either I had an impromptu dinner out and didn’t make the best choice.  Or I hadn’t been to the gym in a week.

If someone told me they went out with friends and had a burger, would I tell them they have no self control and just give up?

So I am going to try to treat myself as I would anybody else.  As my friend Lynne said, it’s time to say goodbye to the struggle bus and jump on the self-love bus.  I hear the seats are much nicer on that bus 🤣👍🏻

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I had a breakfast parfait yesterday and when I went to put it in my stemless wine glass, I pulled it out of my desk drawer and it was broken 😞 so I give you a parfait …bowl.  One cup plain Chobani (4) 2 tablespoons of granola, craisins and slivered almonds (4) with mango and kiwi.


My sister had to stick around her office so I was on my own for my lunch time walk.  I walked north, found a giant Jewel on Ohio and State street (good to know), and picked up a cup of tomato soup at Potbelly’s.



I had a turkey lavash wrap (4) with the soup (4) and apple for dessert.

I lucked out last night – no one signed up for night secretary so I got to leave at 5:00.  Show of hands how many times you pin a recipe, look at it every time you see your boards, and never make it?! 🙋🏻

I’ve seen buffalo cauliflower bites for a while.  This recipe finally happened because I took the easy route and bought cut cauliflower at Trader Joe’s.


I just cleaned out my deep fryer so I had fresh oil.  I made this batter for one cup of cauliflower: 1/8 cup flour, 1/8 cup seltzer, 1/2 t. Garlic powder, 1 teaspoon everything but the bagel seasoning.  I didn’t add salt to the batter, nor did I salt the cauliflower when it came out of the fryer, because the Frank’s buffalo sauce has plenty of sodium.

Dip cauliflower into batter to coat. Deep fry for 4 minutes at 350 degrees.  Then toss in buffalo sauce.  The batter is 2 points, the oil is 1 and my Chobani ranch dressing made with Hidden Valley packaged ranch dressing mix came in at another point. 

Four points for this whole plate 🙌🏻👊


The verdict? Delicious.  Next time I am going to batter the cauliflower and refrigerate it for 30 minutes to see if I can get it crispier, but this definitely cured my jones for chicken wings.

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The dogs have been beside themselves with all the clutter and construction mess and noise – I feel like telling them “I get it!”  Roman sat on my lap for a good 30 minutes, which is unusual for him, he’s always on the move when not sleeping.

I am happy to report that the floor has been  installed! Only thing left is the trim and the steps which they will do tonight.


The kadults are also going to be painting the paneling the same grey that is in the living room. Oh, and Hannah painted my back door red 🤗

I truly am grateful for all their hard work. The only room left to do will be my kitchen, but that will have to wait a bit.  Let’s first clean up the mess before making another one. 🤣

I am on my way to weigh in.  Jenn is meeting me there. She’s also doing a giveaway on her blog with the G.H. Cretors popcorn – just leave a comment for a chance to win. 👍🏻

Happy Thursday – make it a great day! 

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Being diabetic, I go to the doctor twice a year.  Once a year with the endocrinologist and once with the nurse practitioner.  Yesterday’s appointment was with the nurse. I missed my last appointment because I just started working downtown so couldn’t take the day off.  My last appointment was a year ago.

Of course the first thing they do is weigh you. I got on the scale, and with clothes on, weighed 164.

We go to the room and she starts entering stuff into her computer and she said “wow, last year at this time you weighed in at 179!”

And my only thought was “I still feel really fat.”  I should be proud of the loss, but I’ve been on the struggle bus lately and I am trying to get the bus drivers attention so that he can pull over and I can get off.

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It was nice to have a leisurely breakfast yesterday.  Have you guys bought Trader Joe’s lite mozzarella? It’s only 1 point an ounce and melts really well.


I made a low carb breakfast burrito for 6 points.

My doctors office is right near a giant Japanese grocery store. I had forgotten about these Yaki-Soba noodles.  Only 4 points a serving.


I love how they are portioned out. Because they are cooked, that leftover beef stirfry was ready in about 6 minutes.  8 points for lunch.


I ran some errands (Zen your package is on its way!) and went to the gym. The first time in I don’t know how long. I did a treadmill walk on an incline and even though I walk a lot, I felt so out of shape.  I have to make the gym part of my routine again.

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My store had tomatoes for .39 a pound, so I made a big pot of marinara sauce.  I made penne pasta with Italian sausage for 13 points.


  Jacobs Dad came over around 6 and they started working on the back room flooring. My house was built in 1922, and the room isn’t square so it’s a bit of a challenge – they worked until 11 last night, and they think it will be done today.


Here is how it looked this morning. I plan on getting an area rug like the one I have in the living room:


I also need to find a new chair for that room too.  I am hoping with the long weekend we can put Hannah and Jacobs stuff they don’t need in the attic and get my dining room and living room back in order.

It’s rainy today, so my sister and I may have to walk the under ground pedway today.  Kym, I’ll take pictures for you 👍🏻🙌🏻

Happy Wednesday – make it a great day! 

Under Construction 

I have the day off from work today for my six month diabetes doctor appointment.  It was nice to sleep in a bit and make breakfast tacos.

On Sunday I was walking in my back door, and my stained carpet stairs finally got to me and I pulled it out.  While the kadults were at work.  I am impulsive like that.  


This is what was under the carpet. And about a billion staples.  I had no real plan, other than to sand them, paint them and add a runner. 

When I got home from work last night my house was definitely under construction.


Jacob bought me hardwood flooring and his Dad who is a professional carpenter and floor installer was here to help.  I asked Jacobs Dad how much he wanted for his time and he said “just cook me a ribeye steak and we are even.

So moving all the stuff out of this back room, I did not do my fit test for Insanity. The chaos is even higher around my house, but I have to accept this loving gesture and not let the mess get to me.

My bedroom is usually my sanctuary- but now that’s filled with stuff.


And since the dining room and living room are  full of boxes from when the kadults were going to move out, this tiny spot in my kitchen is where I ate my dinner.


Hannah wants to tear out my kitchen next, but I am hoping they’ll finish this project before moving on to the next 🤣👍🏻

I’ll be sure to show after pics – and hopefully I’ll carve out some space in my house today to get my fit test done. 👍🏻

Make it a great day! Are you impulsive when it comes to a house project?? Hopefully I am not the only one 😜