Fall/Winter Weather = Boots + Scarves

The cool down this past week has definitely put me in the mood for Fall! I am so ready for the Fall and Winter weather and along with it my boots and scarves! YEAH! I think this year I will need to get new boots to add to the collection, and maybe even make a new scarf too!

My birthday is around the corner and I've got a little gift from DSW, so this could be a nice birthday treat! Keep in mind price... I mean if they are the ones, they are the ones and I could be flexible, but let's try to be conservative! So the Vintage Style Boot is in...what do we think about these??

Civico 10 Sportster Leather Riding Boot - $99.95

I love the riding boots, they are just so versatile!

SM Women's Aspenn Wedge Boot - $79.95

But these are also fun too!! I can totally see them with some skinny jeans, leggings or even a skirt! They come in black too...

Back to the riding boots, in suede. I like both of these colors, but this is the priciest one of all of them!

Nine West Vintage America Cookin Boot - $64.95

I like these a lot too, they have a little riding style to them but also that vintage rugged look! And they are the least expensive!

Which do you think I should get??

Gluten Free Must Haves!

Throughout the process of the HC3 Trim Diet and Reset Program, Paul and I have learned a new kind of lifestyle - which includes natural and gluten-free foods! Paul has psoriasis, which is an auto-immune disease, and the nutritionist recommends that he stay away from Gluten, so we are both planning to avoid it. Some of the things we have come across and have gotten recommendations on along the way that are absolutely wonderful include, but are not limited too...

Glutino Pretzels - They are absolutely delicious! During our 500 calorie phase it was a nice snack option, but now it's a great option for dips like Guacamole Dip! We love it!

Cindy's Kitchen All Natural Salad Dressings -  These salad dressings are All Natural and Organic. Cindy's salad dressings are available in Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Fat Free, Organic, and with enhanced Omega-3 and Lutein. A great product that can be used as a gourmet dip, sauce, dressing and marinade (which are great for grilling) We recently purchased the new Avocado Vinaigrette - We got this at The Fresh Market in Suwanee, GA, and it is amazing!  We love it, and it's pretty reasonable as far as calories go!

Peanut Butter & Company Crunch Time - I've never really like "natural" peanut butter, but this stuff is a "no-stir, glutton free, all natural peanut butter! YEAH!!! And it's super yummy! We also got "Smooth Operator," but I haven't had the pleasure of trying that just yet! You can buy this in Kroger, Publix and natural food stores as well as online! It's awesome!

Stevia and flavored stevia extracts - are zero calorie all natural sweetener. It's pretty darn wonderful!

Pamela's Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix - the best all-around all-purpose baking and pancake mix. It features buttermilk and almond meal. You can use Pamela's mix as a one-to-one sub for wheat flour in gluten-free baking. I love to bake so this is definitely a must-have when the holiday's roll around!

Udi's Frozen Gluten-free Pizza Crusts -  a ready-made gluten-free pizza crust. Udi's gluten-free crusts are easy to use with good flavor. And they recommend using a preheated pizza stone to bake gluten-free pizza if you favor cracker-crisp New York-style pizza. Paul and I love to make home-made pizzas so this will be another thing we will be picking up soon!

Member's Mark Spinach and Asiago Cheese Chicken Sausage - This is a nice and easy lunch or dinner option, and it's Gluten Free! and delicious! We eat them as your typical sausage, but have also cooked them in soups, and it's a great protein and lower in fat considering it is a sausage!

Oh and a great App for finding Gluten Free places is "Find Me Gluten Free" and I'm fairly certain it's a free app!

You should check them out for sure!

Happy Birthday Chunk Master!

Chunk Master turns 2 years old today! He's been the best dog we could have ever asked for, and I wouldn't change having gotten him for anything!

Just under two years ago, Paul and I were in Helen, GA celebrating Oktoberfest with a group of friends. We were partying it up with lots of beer and good eats, and decided to tour around Helen's array of shops.


Robin, a fellow dachshund lover, saw a sign outside one of the shops "Dachshund Puppies For Sale" and immediately wanted to check it out! All the ladies rushed down to check out the pups, and the guys fell behind. By the time Paul got down, I had the adorable little Chunk in my hands and it was LOVE at first sight! Paul and I looked at each other and kept going back and forth saying, "you wanna?", "you wanna?" We gave in, RUSHED to the ATM, and came back cash in hand to claim our pup!

Chunk has been such a joy to watch grow up! He's a very mild manor-ed, well-behaved, happy dog, with a puppy personality at heart! We adore him, and hope to be able to keep him with us for many years to come, he's like Paul and my first child! Hehe

Click  HERE to see Chunk grow!

Labor Day Holiday in Smoky Mountains - North Carolina... Wonderful!

We've started an annual Labor Day trip to the Smoky Mountains with our friend's Shane and Ashley Cash. This was the third year out, and it was gorgeous! Of all the trips we've taken, I very much look forward to this one because it's not only beautiful, but its SOOOO relaxing. The cabin we rent is situated right on the river, and has an awesome covered porch with rocking chairs so you can relax and watch all the kayakers, rafters and tubers float by.

Even though Chunky had hurt himself, that didn't get him down! He loves to run, especially at the cabin in NC (cone and all)!
Ashley got a cool watch and it a super cute Zebra Bag!
We just love jewelry!
I got a really cute new bracelet and it was only $5!

The highlights of this trip mostly took place in Asheville, which is about a 45 minute drive from where we were staying. Unbeknown-st to us, there are a festival going on down North Lexington St., where we were entertained with people watching everywhere we looked! It was pretty awesome.

Labor Day Weekend Festivities in Asheville, NC
The Festivities Begin!
People watching is so fun!
Enjoying a beer at the Thai Restaurant we stopped at...
Lunch with the Cash's in Asheville, NC
Musical Delights, The Johnny Cakes...
Very Cool
Little ole me...
We were the weird ones without these awesome outfits!
This was another character we watched... and he didn't have shoes! UGH. Of course he wasn't the only one!
You have to see both the front and the back to get the full effect of this kind of people watching! haha
Yeah, what a fun time... can't wait until next year!

Click here to view the full gallery!

Ashley and I enjoyed our shopping in both Asheville and downtown Dillsboro, and while we tried to make it to the Biltmore for a wine tasting, we were a bit too distracted and missed out on that opportunity! Either way it was an awesome trip, and we can't wait for next year!

Artwork for Our Bedroom... What do you think about this??

So one of the things that was so important to me following our wedding was to set up our "grown-up" bedroom. We received some awesome bedding for wedding gifts, so we were set there, but we still had yet to have our bedroom suite.

I had looked online and dragged Paul from store to store in search of the perfect bedroom suite but was at an absolute loss! Then one weekend we decided to go to The Dump with our friend Yarden, and I was ready to make a decision! And we did! We bought a beautiful bedroom suite, fully decked out - Bed, two night stands, men's chest, dresser with mirror and a media stand. It's pretty awesome! Oh and can't forget a new mattress too. We got a pretty great deal at The Dump, I would totally go back again when we are in need of furniture and home decor, etc.

So now we are onto decor items... lamps and artwork. I've been searching for the perfect (reasonably priced) lighting options. But since Paul has created all these awesome HDR images, we are seriously considering having some of those printed to hang over the bed.

Bedroom Giclée

We took a picture of our bedroom and digitally imposed the prints we are thinking about. Which options do you think look best. Watch the below animation and let me know!

Curtis Wilson Sold Us a Hyundai!

Not more than four months ago, Paul sold his beloved Subaru WRX, and made a nice profit on it, so it worked out! But since then he has driven around his little 95' Honda Civic (aka the Caribbean Queen) full-time. And while it is a very nice car, it gets great fuel economy, and has been a great trip and around town car, he's not gotten the most respectful and positive feedback on it from business clients as well as friends and family.

And if you know Paul, you know he has a very strong love of cars, and very much identifies with them. So when he isn't driving something that speaks "Paul" he's just not quite as happy!

Now before we get to the new vehicle we have purchased, I have to give a little more back story about Curtis! Curtis has been a life-long friend of Paul's they grew up together, and have continued to stay friends. Paul and I have had the pleasure of living with Curtis not once, but two different times, and have thoroughly enjoyed his great character, personality and stories. For the longest time both Paul and I thought that Curtis would be an AWESOME car sales rep. He's worked in countless sales and labor intensive positions, but never before had he tried out cars. It seemed like a no-brainer for us because Curtis also has a love of cars, and not only that but he's an AWESOME salesperson!

Paul and I worked our magic with Curtis' resume, and he went out and of course sold himself! He started out at Ford, but has recently moved to Rick Case Hyundai! And he's making a killing, teaming him up with a car like Hyundai was a perfect fit. The cars generally sell themselves and Curtis generally sells people, it's a match made in heaven.

Now onto our new "pre-owned" car! It came into Curtis' location, an 05 Hyundai GX350, and immediately he sent a picture to Paul, the same day Paul was test driving it, and the following day they were working the details of the deal out! For being six years old, this car is in immaculate shape! It's absolutely gorgeous Everything went fast, but now Paul's happy because he's got a presentable vehicle, Curtis' happy because he made ANOTHER deal, and I'm happy, partly because Paul's happy, partly in consideration that in the future we will have a family, and of course because I can actually drive it too!

Thank you Curtis for hooking us up with this awesome deal! I'm glad it worked out for all of us!

If you're looking for a new or used car (doesn't have to be a Hyundai), definitely call or message Curtis! Check him out on Facebook at Curtis' New Deals or call him at 678-770-2175, or just stop in to see him at Rick Case Hyundai in Gwinnett!

Poor Little Chunky Monkey!

Our poor little dog, Chunk, somehow pulled his nail out! At first we didn't notice cause he wasn't whining or hiding, he just kept licking his paw!

But then we noticed his bloody paw and his paw prints into the house! Paul and I grabbed him in a panic, but got things under control with the trusty first aid kit. His paw is bandaged up real good, and luckily we still had his cone!

Chunk seems to be fine, and was super excited to get some peanut butter cookie treats for being such a good sport with his bandaged paw and cone! Paul will be checking in with the vet today to make sure he's ok!


Keep Chunk in your thoughts that he'll be running around soon!

Phase II: Metabolic Reset Begins

Paul and I started the Metabolic Reset program today, and we couldn't be happier! It's the first time we have had eggs in over a month! YUMMM!

So here's how it goes, we begin higher calories, 1200 for me and 1300-1500 for Paul. In the program manual there is a list of all the foods to eat freely, those to limit, and those to avoid at all cost. Kelly, the nutritionist at Optimum Health, has decided to start our first week without dairy and then we can start to add that in during week two.

So here is the overall daily consumption guidelines:

  • Three to Four Proteins daily, 4 oz per meal (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a small snack) - All lean meats still, but we are able to obviously add in eggs, salmon, tuna, turkey and others as we see fit!
  • Two Plant Fats daily - You can get this from Avocado, Pecans and Almonds, Salad Dressings (with olive oil), and Coconut Oil, etc.
  • Four to Six Servings of Vegetables daily - This ranges from salad lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, to celery, cabbage, tomatoes and so much more! Sticking mostly with items that are low on the glycemic index.
  • Two Servings of Fruit - We get a wider variety, but still need to stay away from things like bananas and watermelon, etc. But we can have honey-dew melon and cantaloupe which I love!

We can now consume alcohol! FINALLY! We cheated a couple of times on HC3 and while it didn't cause us to gain, it definitely set us back on the weight loss. So it's not something to go hog-wild with, but it's not going to hurt us! The best alcoholic options are:

  • Wines: - Anything Dry! The Dryer the better... Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet, maybe Pino Grigio... etc.
  • Liquor: Best option is Vodka - Martinis, Vodka and Club Soda with Lime and even Flavored Vodkas are ok!
  • NO BEER! Well it would have to be a treat, but Paul is not allowed to consume Gluten, so it looks like we will avoid beer, but we could try Red Brick Ale, if he must have beer...

After the first week, we can start to add in dairy! Only one serving per day... I LOVE Milk, so I will be getting my skim milk on, but we can also have cheese (low-fat, and non-processed). Kelly said low-fat string cheese and laughing cow cheese are good options for a small snack, and good for protein.

So the whole point of this phase is to get our metabolism, adrenals, and pituitary stable and working to our advantage. And the food recommendations also have a point as they don't want our blood sugar to spike, which causes hunger and bad habits! See the full diagram of "the point" below!

This weekend we are headed up to the North Carolina Smoky Mountains for the Labor Day Holiday and Paul and I are looking forward to widening our meal options as well as cutting loose a bit with a few drinks! YEAH!

HC3 Trim Phase I Comes to an End

Today was our last day of the HC3 Trim program, and I have to say it has definitely been a success! We've lost a combined total of 52 lbs and 21.5 inches!!! Paul and I both feel we do have more to lose, but you'll see details about our total weight-loss, and overall inches dropped, and clearly it has worked!

We are no longer taking the hormone, and have completed the two 500 calorie days (without the hormone), and everything is looking good! We are both really excited to add things into our diet like eggs, dairy and a wider variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins!

I'll be posting again soon with details of the Metabolic Reset Program, which will be our focus for the next three weeks. But the nice thing is, we will be back up to a normal caloric intake, we will begin exercising, and we will be able to indulge here and there in some of the things we love (including alcohol)!!! But one of the things that stuck with me from Kelly at Optimum Health is "try to just break one rule at a time..." So if we are going to indulge in something a little more fatty for lunch or dinner, make sure the other meal is lower in fat and calories. It makes sense!

So here are the before and after images and it's pretty awesome to see the change! And we expect continued loss as we begin to work out! Also check out our measurements too! The numbers tell just as much, maybe even more than the photos.

Monica's HC3 Measurements:

Starting Measurement

Ending Measurement

Total Loss




4.5 inches




4 inches




1.75 inches




2 inches




20 lbs

Paul's HC3 Measurements:

Starting Measurement

Ending Measurement

Total Loss




3.25 inches




3.5 inches




1 inch




1.5 inches




32 lbs