Cleansing! Blueprint Cleanse Review

So I might be a little (and by little I mean about a month), behind in writing a review of the juice cleanse I completed.

Whoops.

I actually read about the Blueprint Cleanse first from Melissa (you can read her review here). I’ve done some pretty extreme diet/food/exercises choices in the past, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Well, more like, I was eating poorly, eating whatever I wanted, including sugar and grains (but not gluten! I never eat gluten.). So I really thought this might kickstart my paleo lifestyle again. Plus, Melissa said it wasn’t that bad. And I love green smoothies, so how bad could green juice be?

photo 1

 

I decided to do the Foundation cleanse because I’m not new to crazy diets, but wasn’t quite ready for four green juices. And 3 days seemed manageable.  You can do anything for 3 days. Plus, if we’re really honest, they’ll only send out 3 days at a time because everything is made fresh, so I didn’t want to get two shipments.

photo 2

 

The bottles come numbered 1-6, and you drink them in order. Really at whatever pace you want, but you’re supposed to leave about an hour between each one. Clearly, I was bad at taking pictures of all the bottles because I don’t have images of all 6. But 3 were the same green juice, pictured above, one was a pineapple, mango, apple juice, that was the second one of the day. There was a spicy lemonade and a cashew milk.

All the reviews I read said the first day was a breeze, not hungry at all, and the second day was awful.

Well.

My first day was pretty miserable. This is where when you’re doing these nutso food/health choices, mind over matter comes into play. It didn’t help that I was doing food research. That made it even worse. And I was going through sugar withdrawal. And I thought, if day 2 is worse than day 1, I’m so screwed. I was hungry, cranky, and going through detox.

photo 3

 

I’m doing a really great job selling it, aren’t I? So anyway, the first day sucked it up. But I convinced myself to go to the gym and in that process, ended up severely straining my left bicep. I’m a trip and a half. But I didn’t know I had done that until the morning of the second day. So I woke up the second day actually feeling fabulous…not hungry, clear head, lots of energy, with the exception of the fact I couldn’t straighten my arm.

photo 4

 

Lots of ice.

The second day was so breezy, I tried to see if I could order extra days of the cleanse to make it a 5 dayer. I couldn’t.

photo 5

 

Unless you’ve given up something before, cold turkey, especially food, it’s hard to describe. Did I want food? Yes, of course. Was it hard when I met some friends out for a birthday celebration to say no to half price bottles of wine? Yep. Sure was. But I paid some serious money to do this, and I wasn’t about to quit. Plus, by the end of day two, I was craving the green juice. It’s own version of a liquid salad. Actually pretty good. And ending the day with the Cashew Milk. Pure genius. It’s thick and rich and sweet and just delicious. I’m not sure if I would have the same passion now as I did then, but it was pretty amazing.

I also lost a little over 5 pounds during those 3 days. Drinking roughly 150 ounces of fluid a day will help do that. I just in general felt fabulous.

I’m already thinking/planning of doing another one soon. So yep, that good.

I’m Alive!

I’ve heard the thing about blogging is sometimes you have to write when you don’t have anything to write about. But clearly, I haven’t taken that advice until now (because I really have nothing to write, but I thought I should let everyone know I’m still alive).

My life has been fully consumed with work, so when people ask me how I’ve been, I typically have really boring responses. Until you know the right questions to ask, and then I can tell you stories for hours. But that’s neither here nor there.

So I’ve been working a lot, and under a lot of stress, but my stomach has held out! Talk about small miracles! I got blood redrawn a few weeks ago, and the tests came back normal, so now it’s a waiting game. And by that I mean, waiting to see when the pain comes back. Or until December when I’m supposed to get another test. Whichever comes first.

The biggest thing that’s going on in my life is really the preparations for Thanksgiving (that’s a stretch…it’s pretty minor…but yeah I’m struggling for content here!). Last year was technically my first year as a gluten intolerant person, but I was on my cleanse, so I wasn’t expecting to eat anything. So this is my first year trying to eat real food. And I’m not exactly sure how that’s gonna turn out. I am ordering some gluten free treats from a bakery in Chicago (thanks Jamie!), so I won’t feel totally left out. But the amazing fried biscuits are out of commission. Major downer.

On another Thanksgiving note, my friend Karen and I did our annual shopping for the Thanksgiving Food Drive with Crossroads. This year we upped the ante and got 3 boxes. That amount of food makes for a very heavy cart. I almost bit it head first when my feet went backwards and the cart refused to move forwards. But thankfully my nose and teeth are alright.

To make this very uninspired entry seem a little more inspired, I will now include photos to make my life look awesome. But don’t worry, it’s all fake.

Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

 

1. A Reds Championship game with father. I can’t say anything else about it. It still hurts.

2. Annual girls trip this year went to Chicago. Sandwiched between blondes, all wearing leggings.

3. Goofing around at work

4. I’m just really adding to my coolness here. Some iPad entertainment with markerstaches.

5. Halloween! Rocked the crap out of the Replacement Ref costume.

6. The girls on Halloween

7. My absolute little favorite nugget. Please note the size of my hands in relationship to her body. Man hands for sure.

8. Thanksgiving shopping. Left is Karen basting me because last year I shot air straight into her eyeball with one of those things. This year she was prepared.

Singapore

And I’m back. So where was I? Oh right…back in Singapore after the bathtub adventures of Thailand.

So Singapore is hot. And humid. People always seem surprised when they ask me how the trip is and I respond hot. Remember people…I didn’t wear makeup this entire trip. Nothing. I had moisturizer with sunscreen on but I don’t think that counts. And there wasn’t a point because I would have literally just sweat it off and I didn’t feel like looking like a raccoon while on my explorations.

The first day back, it happened to be overcast with a breeze so Luke and I explored all over the city. I got to see two coffee shops he’s worked with on his Be Disloyal card, do some more shopping, and see what all the hype about chicken rice was.

 

I spent most of the time in Chinatown looking for a good Dragon token to bring back since it’s the year of the Dragon and I happen to be one, but I never found one I loved.

We walked down Orchard Road which is the Rodeo Drive of Singapore – except a little more approachable. I found the most amazing flats at Tory Burch but of course they were out of my size (but seriously…how does that happen. I have freakishly large feet so I’m not exactly sure how they ran out? Anyway, rude.). So of course we went on an exploration to find if the only other store on Orchard had them which led me to be able to introduce my brother to the world of Louboutin, Alexander McQueen and Lanvin. He actually managed incredibly well. And that store did not have my Fox flats – and they’re unavailable online, but you can check them out here.

The next day involved more shopping and exploring Arab Street. And me getting reflexology. I spent the previous night researching where to find it, but I actually stumbled upon a place after getting bubble tea while Luke studied for the GRE. By the way, mini bubbles or pearls are deadly and never get them. You may choke.

Anyway, reflexology is no joke. Unfortunately the lady that did it, didn’t speak much English, so she couldn’t tell me exactly why the area she was pushing on on my foot made me wanna cry, but she did tell me I needed to drink more water. Which was ironic because in non vacation life, I drink a lot of water. But I was worried about not finding a bathroom on our explorations so I had drastically cut my intake. Apparently she could tell.

The evening ended with me eating Pepper Crab. For those who don’t know me well, I don’t like seafood. In fact, I can’t stand it. I’ve tried it in every capacity – all types, all styles, but just can’t do it. I know…it’s a personal failure. So when I was told we were going to Chili Crab, I was a little skeptical (okay, mainly I was thinking that I hoped they had chicken on the menu).

While I didn’t LOVE it, it wasn’t bad. I ate a few legs and managed to make a mess in the process. But apparently that’s what you’re supposed to do.

 

I had a full final day in Singapore as I didn’t need to leave for the airport until 11pm. Luke and I went to go see Row at her office (she works at Google) and reap the perks of the free lunch. She also has a killer view of the harbor. She then went with us to get what would be my final bubble tea experience. That happened to be at the mall that was the Rodeo Drive of malls…or I guess the Orchard Road of malls.

Here’s where it gets cool. My brother has a mustache as I’m sure you’ve seen from the photos and the Singapore division of Esquire Magazine wants to bring awareness to Movember (No Shave November) which brings awareness for Prostate cancer. So they asked my brother to be part of a photo shoot to be included in their magazine!! Let me say this in the most laymen words possible…my brother is going to be in Esquire Singapore. My brother is cooler than yours.

So they asked him for his suit measurements which my brother didn’t happen to know, so he asked me for my help. So I took him to Prada. Hey…if you’re gonna get sized for a suit, might as well get sized for an expensive suit. Ridiculously fun.

 

 

On the high of pretending like we belonged in Prada, we did the one thing I put on my request list for Singapore…Marina Bay Sands. Marina Bay Sands is a hotel/casino that was built by investors from Vegas. But the reason I wanted to go to it was for the view. You can pay to go to the second highest level OR you can do what the smart people do (ie. us) and go to KU DÉ TA, a club at night, but a bar during the day. It’s also on the highest level of the place.

 

Luke and I got champagne sangria in the afternoon, and just talked. He moved out when I was in 8th grade, so we haven’t spent a lot of time together as adults. Thankfully, not only were we able to do it on this trip, but we didn’t have any sibling spats.

That evening, Luke, Row and I went to get pig feeler soup (sorry..didn’t take any photos of that) and saw major celebrations happening along the river for Moon Pie Festival. Still not sure why the celebrate Moon Pies, but they go all out for it. We also then went to what might be the coolest bar I’ve ever been to, where I may or may not have stolen 2 coasters. But as I decided it would take them longer to track me down than it would for me to get out of the country, I took the risk. If you’re ever going to Singapore, I’ll tell you about it. Otherwise, it’s a secret.

I then took the 36 hour trek back home with stops in Sri Lanka, Dubai and NYC. I’ll be happy not to see an airplane for awhile. Although I am taking a Megabus tomorrow for a girl’s weekend in Chicago. And then, a travel hiatus.

So that’s all she wrote. Except I have to share my recipe for peanut butter pumpkin cups with you soon. Because they’re delicious. And I owe you that much.

 

Dubai, Singapore and Thailand. Oh yeah.

I’m horrible at writing trip recaps. I don’t know why, but I just am. But I went on a huge trip, and you’ve requested photos. I’d also like to look back in a few weeks/months/years and remember all the greatness.

First of all…I have a recipe to share with you shortly, but it’s currently in the freezer, so I’m not quite sure how it turned out. But it involves chocolate, peanut butter AND pumpkin. What up?!

So my trip.

I won’t talk about the long flights involving screaming children, a woman stealing my blanket and feet that swelled so badly I had trouble walking to Immigration. Now that’s out of the way, I’ll talk about the fun stuff.

I had a long layover in Dubai, and had been introduced to a woman that lives there through a woman I met at a conference in Cincinnati. Amazingly, she agreed to not only pick me up from the airport and show me around the city.

As a complete side note – all photos of me on this trip will be of me not wearing makeup. I’ll discuss the reasons why later. But yep…not a stitch of makeup the entire trip.

So Robyn and Bug took me around different markets where I got coconut water, scarves and road the water taxi.

The buildings in Dubai truly are amazing. I got to look up at the world’s tallest building. Yep…it’s pretty freakin tall. The girls taught me a lot about the city and the country – apparently Dubai was crushed by the economy and there are buildings around the city that were stopped mid-construction. It’s also illegal for a man to touch a woman unwillingly (in any sense..on the arm, back, etc.), so men will pin themselves against the wall of an elevator if he’s in it alone with a woman.

I did get a lot of strange looks in the airport being the only single white woman around. And I won’t lie…I was slightly nervous waiting for the girls to pick me up. I didn’t know about the law – all I knew was I was tired so not at the most aware and also alone. But you don’t experience new things if you don’t push yourself out of your comfort zone.

I must make a note about the hospitality of strangers. Bug and Robyn were beyond amazing. Aside from picking up a stranger at the airport and showing her around the city – they lent me money and bargained so I bought buy my scarves. Paid for my dinner. Let me shower at their apartment. Made me a cup of Rooibos tea (for those who don’t know, it’s a South African tea that makes me pine for the country. Like home in a cup. The girls also called me a taxi and gave me money for the ride. I am forever in debt.

From Dubai, I flew to Singapore to visit Luke and Row! I managed to catch them at potentially the most crazy time in their lives – hosting me, going to Bangkok, packing to move back to the States, and planning a wedding.

We spent the first night of my trip in Singapore with an exploration of Little India. There are going to be lots of photos of food – most of which I won’t caption. If you wanna know what’s what, feel free to ask in a comment.

Also, a important note about my eating on this trip. There was a lot of food I couldn’t eat. Especially food that I wanted to eat. Sticky buns. Oh sticky buns. And street food. But there was also a lot of food I did eat. Like rice dishes and pad thai. But in full disclosure, I was sick almost every day. I’m beyond fortunate that mainly my stomach issues got extreme at night when I was back in a more comfortable place. I never knew what was making me sick, but I would make the assumption it was often in the sauces. You do the best you can, but at the end of the day, gluten isn’t a popular discussion in Singapore or Thailand, so you take risks as to not starve.

Saturday afternoon, we flew to Bangkok (note..this was my 4th airplane) to spend a few days. Bangkok is Luke and Row’s favorite city, so it was nice to spend their last trip there with them.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was the weekend market in Bangkok. The Chatuchak Weekend Market is HUGE. And I don’t use caps lightly. We were there from 9-2 and only seemed to scratch the surface of it. Everything was so cheap, but I was able to get some great shirts, amazing jewelry, and purses that I keep getting compliments on.

The next day, Luke and I went exploring. I can’t currently think of the names of these lizards Luke is obsessed with, but they’re not Komodo dragons. They are huge. And slightly scary. And they swim very strangely, not moving half of their body. I would not like to run into one in a dark alley is basically what I’m saying.

We then got some lunch and went off to explore some Buddhist templates – Wat Arun and Wat Pho. Wat Arun is made of broken pottery. It’s gorgeous. But the stairs are scary steep to climb and there aren’t handrails. I may have a slight fear of going down stairs, so we didn’t climb all the way to the top.

Wat Pho is the home of the largest reclining Buddha in the world. It’s amazing. I don’t really know how else to describe it.

We then stumbled upon a wholesale food market while looking for the flower market. It was clearly where restaurants bought their food because there were piles upon piles of ginger, buckets of onions and bags of potatoes with sacks of rice. It was fun to get a glimpse of what real life in Thailand is like.

We also need to take a moment and pause to talk about the bathtub in the hotel room I was in in Bangkok. I know I’m obsessed. Sue me. I’ve never seen such a luxurieus tub. The thing was supposed to overflow AND it was a jacuzzi. I took a bath all 4 days we were there.

I loved Thailand for a lot of reasons. Bangkok had the major hustle and bustle of a big city which felt natural to navigate. The water taxis were interesting to navigate – you were either on or off, there was no waiting for you to make up your mind. We saw people get left multiple times because they got off at the wrong stop and realized too late. But probably the real reason I loved Bangkok so much was for their beverages. Thai Ice Tea is to die for. But Bubble Tea will always have my heart. Known as Pearl Milk Tea over there, I often had it and then wasn’t hungry for another meal. But I was okay with that because I had had bubble tea. Freakin amazing.

So then we went back to Singapore (5th flight). And you know what…you’ll have to read about that later. This post is already ridiculously long. The next post will involve chicken rice, fresh pineapple juice and sick photos of Singapore. Oh, and me eating seafood.

Bon Voyage & Health Update

So tomorrow afternoon, I leave for my trip to see my brother and his fiance.

I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I’m actually going.

Maybe because I’ve been so busy at work that I’ve forsaken my workouts, social events and cooking. Or maybe just because I’ve been anticipating this trip for so long that I can’t believe I actually just checked in for the first flight online.

This is actually the longest I’ve gone in my teenage/adult life between international trips. That sounds super pretentious…but I’ve been very fortunate to have been exposed to the world at a very young age. In high school I would go to Mexico every year on mission trips, then switched to a study abroad program in Asia when I was a sophomore in college, to South Africa junior year, to a graduation trip in Nicaragua.

Travel is my life.

This trip is going to be the first international trip I’ve taken as a gluten intolerant person. And I won’t lie…I’m kind of nervous. But my brother and his fiance are amazing and understand that there are certain things I can’t eat. I also have packed an amount of snacks that almost makes me turn my nose up at myself. Not for the time overseas, but for the travel there and back. Airports are the gfree person’s biggest nightmare. Easy to eat food (think burgers, pizza, sandwiches) don’t lend themselves to gluten free. And I refuse to do what I did on the way back from SXSW and eat frozen yogurt for dinner (not a bad dinner, but not filling for a 12 hour flight).

So I bought Larabars, Luna bars, trail mix, some gluten free chocolate covered pretzels (it is a vacation after all), and fruit based products. I feel like a mom of 3 children who constantly has food on her.

On a more serious note, I finally feel ready to talk about the health issues I’ve been battling. Mainly because there are no answers, so I don’t have a solution for you.

I’ve been having severe pain in the upper left area of my stomach that has been waking me up from sleep. In the world of digestive health, apparently anything in your stomach area that causes that much pain is a bad thing. Food became painful to eat in the sense that as soon as I ate it, it hurt. So I lost my appetite. And then I lost my energy.

I’ve had blood drawn, an ultrasound, a CT scan and a colonoscopy. The only answer they have is that there are levels in my blood that signify an infection in my intestines..but they aren’t sure where.

I share all of this with you, not for your sympathy. Far from it. After years of few answers, I’ve realized it’s easier not to talk to others about it because there aren’t answers. Answers are neat and tidy. My digestive system isn’t. Instead, I write this because I want you to feel comfortable reaching out for any “awkward” health problems you might have. My dad tried to make me feel uncomfortable the other way with the level of detail he was sharing about his health, and was shocked when I told him the details people talk to me about. And I love that.

When you’ve had every digestive test possible, you’re happy to tell people what to expect. Or at least I am.

So peace out for now. But I will leave you with some of my favorite pictures from previous trips I’ve taken. Don’t miss me too much.

 

1. Getting up there was some work, but enjoying the view on the Great Wall of China

2. Technically Hawaii isn’t international, but it sure felt like it.

3. The faces. Seriously. The faces (Katie don’t kill me!)

4. My best friend, Abby and I on Senior Spring break in Mexico. She is my life.

5. Potentially my all time favorite photo. Taken in South Africa, it portrays all of my girls for exactly who we are.

6. In South Africa, the monkeys attack.

7. Just falling off Table Mountain.

8. My ultimate dream come true. I live for African elephants. Gentle giants who are smarter than any human.

9. There is no editing to this photo. Nicaragua really is that gorgeous.

10. Karen became an honorary Norman for this trip

11. I will never.ever.seriously ever. go zip lining again in my life. Clearly this photo was taken before.

They Say It’s Your Birthday

(photo credit here)

I LOVE my birthday. Love Love Love Love Love! Did I say I love it? It is the one day I’m truly allowed to be as selfish as possible because the day is about me! Hey..if it wasn’t for August 9, I wouldn’t be here (okay I guess my parents played a minor role as well…).

But as much as I love my birthday, this birthday is actually for my blog. It’s a year old. Holy cannoli! Apparently in the world of blogging, you’re supposed to celebrate such momentous occasions. That celebration means I’m blogging.

So a year old, and only sort of kind of wiser.

My best friend, Jill got inducted into our high school’s Hall of Fame last night for her phenomenal tennis career and I was one of the lucky people she invited. And they served dinner. BBQ. I LOVE BBQ (I think I may be guilty of overusing the world “love”). What I don’t love? Malt Vinegar in BBQ sauce.

A year ago, I would have eaten that and gotten violently ill.

Today, I know better and brought my own food. And I got to celebrate with her. How lucky am I?!

So I’m still occasionally a pain to eat with, but guess what? I’m awesome (so it’s worth it), but I’m also blessed that those closest to me put up with my constant food questions at restaurants and having a waiter leave just as you’re about to order to check on if something has gluten in it.

The past year has been a whirlwind of switching jobs, lots of ingredient label reading, planned and unexpected trips to visit my friends, four medical tests in a month, losing a significant amount of weight, becoming a runner (woot woot!), getting bionic hearing, breaking records and finding my own voice. For the person that is the first to compromise, this has been the hardest part because I’ve had to learn not to compromise my health. And thankfully, that’s slowly seeping into other aspects of my life.

So..raise a glass (preferably champagne) and cheers to many more years.

It’s bad luck if you don’t drink to a cheers.

Fireworks

Happy Belated Labor Day!

Even though it’s Friday, I’m still going to blog about Labor Day because, well, I can.

My brother actually came in town this past weekend from Singapore so my family spent the entire long weekend together doing things like grilling out, running errands, going the Underground Tour of Cincinnati, buying beer (while I stared at all the cool labels and imagined which ones I would buy), watching the fireworks, and just generally hanging out.

It was nice to be around people who get all the inside jokes you’ve grown up with, and who put up with all your quirks. Exhibit A: Qwill. But it was also nice to not think about my health as I got some…disheartening? annoying?  (I’m still working on the best word to describe it) news with the prescription for more tests. I also didn’t do a single ounce of work which gave me the energy I needed to bust it out the rest of this week.

And with my brother leaving at the end of this week, the official countdown to Singapore has begun. I leave in officially 12 days. My stomach just flipped thinking about that. So when my brother and I said goodbye, it wasn’t a…see you in 6 months..it was a see you in two weeks. Kinda cool.

Even though it has nothing to do with my family, one of my favorite parts of the weekend was my Sunday morning run/exploration. I live in an interesting/diverse/old neighborhood with huge houses and lots of side streets. I love exploring (I once went on an exploration of the old building I worked in that led me stuck in a utility elevator…whoops.), and took over 2 hours (not all running..are you kidding me??) checking out all the areas I live in. I got chased by a dog and trespassed on a soccer field during the process, which only made it even more exciting.

There have been some major changes in my life the past few weeks with constants in my life suddenly ending and of course everything health related, but at the end of the day – I am so blessed. In the negative spaces that start to eat at me, I have to remind myself to be grateful. It’s not always easy. I’ve cried more the past month then I have this year. And while I’m not okay with it all, I have constant reminders of how loved I am. So thank you all.

Pay it forward.

1. The brother and I

2. One of the mansions spotted on my run

3. This church is for sale. I think it’d make a perfect apartment. Who wants to buy it for me?

4. A fountain I found on my exploration. Calm in a busy area

5. You get a bathtub! And you get a bathtub! And you get a bathtub!

6. Goofing off in my apartment with some headphones

7. I’m over it – clearly. My brother is still having a blast.

 

Cookies.

I got in a tiff with food this morning. I was minding my own business, going through my typical morning routine of getting breakfast ready and sitting down to watch some TV while I ate. This morning, I stepped away from my typical smoothie and instead opted to have some bacon that I had made a few days before. Apparently my digestive system and the bacon didn’t feel like getting along because from swallowing for about 30 more minutes, I was in pain. Kind of like when you don’t chew a piece of bread all the way and the edge scraps down your esophagus, like that. Except worse.

So I decided that I was over breakfast.

While I was not eating breakfast, I decided to check my Google Reader, and stumbled upon this recipe. Done.

I’ll save you my thought process, but basically it went something like – looks delicious, soft food that my esophagus might tolerate, paleo, grain free, what what?? So of course I had to instantly make them. Or like 2 hours later. Same difference.

I copied that recipe verbatim, so just go check it out and make it that way.

They are absolutely delicious. Gooey, soft, flavorful, gobble worthy. I even tested them on a few co-workers and they couldn’t believe they’re dairy, grain and refined-sugar free. And my digestive system tolerated them. I’d call that a win-win.

One of my friends did point out that it would make an excellent cookie crust because it is so gooey. So just wait…maybe I’ll actually get back into baking again. But don’t hold your breath. Although my mind is already spinning with delicious cookie crust cheesecakes/cakes/ice cream ideas. Paleo ice cream with pieces of this in it? That might really be the true definition of food porn.

She didn’t note this in the recipe, but to make it paleo, make sure you use raw almond butter, not the regular roasted stuff because that has sugar in it. And if you don’t like almonds (what’s wrong with you??), I’m sure it could work with peanut butter (making it not paleo), cashew, walnut or macadamia butter. It really only yields 15ish cookies, so it’s not the most cost effective recipe with the ingredients, but like I care in this moment. I’ll care when I check my bank account later, but now, psh.

This recipe also only takes approximately 5 minutes to make. And that’s an exaggeration – I could make this in 2 if you made me. It takes longer for the oven to heat up. So what’s your excuse?

Mashed Potatoes, Cauliflower Style. REMIX

I thought if I just put the title as “Mashed Cauliflower” I’d probably only get a few readers. Or maybe that’s just because I didn’t like cauliflower growing up. I would never define myself as a picky eater because I’m … Continue reading

Belated Birthday

I’m not 23 any longer – meaning…my blog title is a lie.

I actually haven’t been 23 for 17 days. I turned 24 August 9, making me what…24 and gluten no more? But clearly, I haven’t gotten around to changing my blog title for much of the same reason that I haven’t written about my birthday. I’ve been sick.

I ate gluten accidentally about a week before my birthday – and let me tell you, I’m still intolerant. I was in such pain, I couldn’t believe I didn’t realize what I was eating. Still don’t know what it was. Potentially the dressing.

I’ll save all the rest of the details, but turns out, I’m going through another digestive health spell. I was essentially worthless last week, meaning I couldn’t really eat anything either. I’ve had some tests, but I have to have at least one more next week.

As soon as I do have results, I’ll update you. But for now, too many unanswered questions to even begin.

I also honestly had a shitty week.

I often try not to blog about major issues going on in my life when they involve other people. Not that I don’t trust my readers, but more, I am incredibly protective of the people in my life, and I prefer not to blog about them. If it’s an issue related singularly to me, it’s fair game.

So I’ll leave it there. Tomorrow starts a new week, and I’m determined to make it a better one.

I also promise this week that I’ll post a recipe of something I made this past week. I’ve been meaning to make it for awhile, and since my stomach was so iffy, I decided to try it. Big success. So stay tuned.

This post is instead about the below photos that showcase my birthday, the celebrations, and my friends/family in general.

And for now…let’s all pretend I’m 23.

 

1. Dinner at the Orchids with my parents.

2. Roses from my dad. Amazing tradition.

3. Beautiful flowers from my brother and his fiance. Thank you Luke and Row!

4. Celebrating after my birthday dinner

5. The next night of celebrations

6. Kisses

7. Some of my girls

8. Love

9. Photo bomb

10. Hat night