January is FINALLY over.  I know lots of folks have felt like January was long, but it really can’t be longer than for people doing Whole30.  I was really good about sticking to the program, except for that bit about the coffee.  I had a lot of things I wanted to do in January and I kept track in my version of a bullet journal chart. 

I completed all my monthly and weekly goals.  They are pretty simple goals, but help keep me on track with things that I want to do all year long.  

As for my daily goals, I think I did really good!  I did something creative everyday, did my gratitude list everyday, and had a >90% success with washing my face/tidying up every night, and did pretty well with reading a book each night before bed.  The yellow boxes indicate nights that I started to read and only made it for 5 minutes or so because I was too tired.  Red ones I missed altogether.  I am very pleased with those results.  Below I have added a gallery of my some of my favorite creative endeavors and gratitude lists (also creative endeavors – tend to kill two birds.)


I have to admit that I really got my sweet tooth in check by doing Whole30.  But I did not feel good on this program. Not terrible, but not good.  The literature on the program stresses vegetables and protein in your diet, and also fat.  The fat and the protein does keep you full, but for me it was really boring.  I missed grains and legumes so much!  I do like being in control of what I eat, and eating whole foods.  But eating all that meat didn’t sit well with me.  And it was so expensive!!  My weekly grocery bill is usually ~$150 or less.  Last week, I spent $238.  Way too much!  I think the thing I liked the least is that I had no joy in eating.  I was spending more than every on food and not looking forward to a meal.  Whole30 proponents would probably counter that food is meant to nourish you, not make you happy.  That’s true, but I like a little bit of both on that one.  

I plan to keep going with whole foods and lots of fruits and veggies, but I am adding back whole grains and legumes right away.  

One thing that I forgot to say and came back to edit in is that I lost 4.6 lbs and one inch off my waist this month. That should be said because it definitely got the ball rolling.  

I posted about my February practice here.  I will update soon with how it’s going.  



I changed my mind on my DIY project for January.  Why?  Because grout is boring and I didn’t feel like doing it.  Instead, I chose something that would have a big impact on my home and bring in more color, which I love.  I recovered my sad, stained padded dining chairs with colorful cloth I bought online ages ago.  I know this is a very easy project, but I put it off a long time, I had never done this before, and I actually had to google some things to get it done (like how to load the staple gun…)

recovered chair

This is the before picture.  Lots of food and drink stains.  I’m willing to be the one in the middle is red wine.  Anyway, this is 4 years of use and hey, they are WHITE seat covers.  What do you expect, people?!

before pic

The steps to reupholstering a chair are simple:

1.  remove the covered pad from the base of the chair.

underside of chair

This is the underside of the IKEA dining chair.  All you have to do to remove it is unscrew those 4 screws.  

2.  Remove the current cover from the seat and measure it.  

measuring original cover

Make sure to measure both the narrow and wide ends of the chair cover. Look at those cute handmade socks that made it into the photo!  

drawing of covering measurement

3.  If your fabric is printed, find a way to get pleasing parts of the print oriented on your chair and mark the fabric with pencil on the back.  I added 2 inches on each side (4 inches per direction) to ensure that there was plenty of overlap.  Then cut out each cover.  Before I cut the other three, I made sure the first one fit my seat on all sides.  

fabric photo

This is the gorgeous, pre-ironed fabric.  LOVE those colors!

4.  Iron the fabric.  I hate to iron too, but I would hate looking at the same stupid wrinkles for years more than ironing.  The fabric I used is a thick upholstery fabric so I used a bunch of steam to get the wrinkles out.  

5. Wrap the ironed fabric over the seat and ensure placement is correct.  Staple it down, pulling really tight on the fabric to keep it taut.  

stapling cover

Much nicer finished project when I drink the LaCroix than wine.  Also, I kept all my fingers.  

6. Screw the seat back onto the chair base and admire your beautiful work.  

before and after photo

All four chairs took a total of about 2 hours to complete.  Not too shabby.  


PRACTICE – Monthlies

Each month I plan to do several practices:

  • Write an honest-to-goodness real letter to someone.  I have a penpal now, and I am enjoying writing to my grandmother.  
  • Take a hike with Pi.  This will be a new practice, but I already know that I want to do this at least once per month.
  • Clean a closet/drawer. 
  • Watch a documentary.  I love documentaries, but when I think to watch them, I often choose something trashy instead. With a goal of once a month, I hope to help myself become a decently educated, compassionate person rather than root for the least jerky of the real housewives.  
  • DIY home project – this will be fun!  I have so many ideas for this, and will post about them as they arise.  

It is now January 10, so I best have a good start on them!  

1.  I already wrote my letter – to Tammi Salas. It feels so good to send actual mail out with a stamp and an address on the front.  If you want to receive a letter from me, use the contact me portion to send me your address privately.  

2.  I took Pi on a hike!  I didn’t bring my camera because it was so flipping cold, but here is one of me right before i took off.  

bundled up selfie
trail shoes

It was pretty cold, but we did a good three miles.  I would have gone longer but his little feet seemed cold.  And I couldn’t feel my face.

3.  Clean a closet/drawer.  I have a very loose interpretation of this.  I chose the large shelf in my en suite bathroom for this month.  I had old things on the shelf and the shelf itself was pretty dusty and needing love.  I have a few photos, but I was a dummy and didn’t get a true before shot.  I might need a class in how to write a blog so appropriate photos are included.  

crap from the shelves
All this crap was on the shelves.  
empty Ikea shelf

This shelf gets extremely dusty and those little grooves are a bitch to clean between.  This level of tortuous detail could only be brought about by the folks at IKEA.  

And here it is all dressed up and ready to go.  It makes me so happy.  

Finished shelf

4.  Watch a documentary – I haven’t watched it yet, but plan to watch “There’s something wrong with Aunt Diane” on Amazon Prime this weekend.  It is a movie about the 2009 wrong way crash that killed a mother and seven others on the Taconic Pkwy in NY.  I have heard it is incredibly difficult to watch, especially for those of us who have had our own issues with alcohol.  But whenever someone says something like that, I really want to see it.  

5. DIY home project!  Ok, this one is not a lot of fun, but it is manageable.  I plan to decide my February project early so I can choose something more involved.  I haven’t started yet, but before I bought my house, it was pretty much completely renovated.  The people did good work, but the grout around the bottom of the shower is coming out.  It needs to be replaced and sealed with silicone (I think – gonna research other opinions first), but I will do that and it will be beautiful before the end of the month.  

Anyone out there have projects of your own?  Any documentary or DIY project suggestions for me for upcoming months?  

This weekend I will post an update to my January Whole30 PRACTICE and announce what I have chosen for February – very excited about it!


PRACTICE – January, week 1

Hello Wildflowers!  How has your 2018 started?  Mine has been going great despite VERY cold temperatures here in Baltimore.  I have had a great week starting and continuing with practices that feel good to me.  Here is a graphical glimpse at my progress:

bullet journal

Yay!  All green!  This weekend I will tackle some of my monthly goals.  It won’t be the hike with Pi one, that’s for sure!  It’s way too cold for that.  But I am going to be alone (gloriously ALONE) tonight, so I think I will watch a documentary and write a letter. Feels good to tend all the areas of my life that feel good to me.  Oh, and at my sober meeting (AA), I got this:

7 month chip

But I am struggling with the Whole30.  The true purpose of using this program is to get my sugar intake under control.  I am not a person who thinks that sugar is poison, because I know what poison means and it really isn’t.  BUT, it is a substance that is highly addictive and mindless use of sugar leads to increased habitual use.  That’s where I was and why I decided to do something about it.  My nature is overreaction.  When I decided to start running, I trained for a marathon.  I make things BIG!  I do tend to follow through, but I’m sometimes miserable in the midst of it.

Whole 30 may have been an overreaction as well.  I wanted to control my sugar intake and now somehow I can’t use anything with soybean oil in it.  I have to ADD fat to my meals in the form of plated fat.  Ok, ok, that’s how they do it.  I’m just saying that I maybe didn’t need a formal program that addressed many, many food issues, when all I really wanted to address is sugar.  

What am I liking with Whole30?

I like that I am not craving sugar.  I like that I’m actually not very hungry most of the time.  I like that I am eating loads of vegetables and an apple tastes like the sweetest treat, just as it should! Despite the fact that I miss pasta, I am happy that I am not eating it.  I feel better without it.  I like that we bought a fridge full of veggies and they are almost all gone.  I mostly like that I feel in control of what I am eating.  

What I am feeling whiny about but still able to do?

I miss legumes most of all!  I love black beans and it is definitely black bean soup weather!!!  I miss grains a lot, especially rice and quinoa.  

What do I need to change up?

This is going to be very unpopular.  And please, for the love of god, do not report me to the Whole 30 enthusiasts, as they will surely troll me until I die.  I am going to put cream in my coffee.  There I said it.  I actually went out and bought, spend good money on, the coconut version of creamer because loads of enthusiasts raved about how delicious it was.  Either they have never tasted cream in their lives, or they are fucking liars.  Because it tastes awful!  I drank my coffee black for this week and I could continue to do that, but I prefer to have a happy life.  

coffee with cream

Monthly, Weekly, and Daily Practice

With my word of the year, I intend to practice new things continuously for one month.  In addition, there are habits that I wish to continue to practice on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.  Each month, I will reveal my new practice for the month with some conclusions about the prior month.  To get started, here are my categories of habits I want to practice all year.  


  • Write an honest-to-goodness real letter to someone.  I have a penpal now, and I am enjoying writing to my grandmother.  
  • Take a hike with Pi.  This will be a new practice, but I already know that I want to do this at least once per month.
  • Clean a closet/drawer. 
  • Watch a documentary.  I love documentaries, but when I think to watch them, I often choose something trashy instead. With a goal of once a month, I hope to help myself become a decently educated, compassionate person rather than root for the least jerky of the real housewives.  
  • DIY home project – this will be fun!  I have so many ideas for this, and will post about them as they arise.  


  • Update financial situation.  This year, I will be on my own, with no other contributing adults in the household.  I can do it, but it will be tight.  The only way to keep a disaster from happening is to monitor my finances very regularly.
  • Blogging – this is new to me.  I hope I will blog more frequently than once a week, but I am committed to weekly blogging for this year.  
  • Take care of plants/garden.  In winter, there will be less to do because I only have to take care of the indoor (succulent!) plants I have.  In spring and summer, I will need to get my hands into the dirt and tend my yard.  


  • Read a minimum of 15 minutes before bed.
  • Wash all makeup off my face/brush teeth and hair before bed, make bed in the morning.
  • Daily gratitude list.  I started doing this based on inspiration of Tammi Salas, and it has changed my life.  I’ll talk more about that later, but you can look at my instagram if you are too impatient.  You can also look at #tammisgratitudetribe if you want to see really awesome ideas for that project.  
  • Do something creative.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2018 – New year’s day is always really meaningful to me.  I love a fresh start, and January 1 is a fresh start – perhaps arbitrary, but a significant day to make a fresh start.  This month I will begin my PRACTICE of the Whole30.  It starts tomorrow and I want to see how different my body can feel if it don’t feed it any added sugars, dairy, artificial sweeteners, or grains or legumes all month.  I think the legumes bit is sort of an overkill, but hey, 30 days goes by quickly.  I decided not to start today because for New Year’s day, I always make pork and sauerkraut, served on egg noodles with Hoppin’ John.  So I need grains and legumes to make that happen.  And it’s for good luck and it’s only one day per year.  So there we go.  

My other daily goals this year (outlined above) include reading 10 minutes per day, washing my face, making my bed, taking time for a gratitude list, and doing at least one creative thing per day. Here’s a map of how I will keep track for this month.  I will also be keeping track of my weekly and monthly goals using a charting system.  

Here’s an example of a chart I started at the end of October to chart the weather in a colorful way.   I have also made a chart for my mood, which is kind of fun.  

I know it looks insane to people who don’t depend on gold stars to keep themselves on track, but I love this system.  I love using apps for running for the same purpose.  In fact, if I forget my watch when I go running, it almost feels like a waste!  Ha!  Hope everyone had a safe and happy new year.  Talk to you soon!  


Word of the Year 2018!

My word of the year for 2018 is PRACTICE.  I chose it for a few reasons.  Practice has two related meanings.  A practice is something you do regularly – like a yoga practice or a gratitude practice.  It also is a verb meaning to perform repeatedly to improve a skill. It feels safe “it’s only practice” – no need to be perfect.  It is also a fantastic word for trying new things.  This year, I have a huge list of potential ideas to improve my life.  It’s not feasible for me to do all the things all the time.  But it is feasible for me to try one or two of the things each month and decide at the end of the month if I wish to keep practicing as I have been doing, alter how I have been practicing or release that practice all together.  

As is true for many of you, I have some practices in my life that I enjoy and add value, so I intend to maintain those alongside these new practices.  I will divide practices into monthly, weekly and daily routines.  It is oh so important for me to assess my progress (I love a gold star!), so I will create visual charts to monitor.  At the end of the month, I will post a recap to show what worked well for me and what did not.  

For right now, I am just posting this little tease as to what is to come.  In the next couple days, I will show you how I am organizing these goals for the new year.  Do you choose a word of the year?  If so, what is your word for 2018 and why did you select that one?