the original food diet | "the rules"

Whole, real, unprocessed food.

Food you could grow yourself.

Food God created for us to enjoy.

Starting April 1, that's all I will eat for 40 days.

In case you might have missed last Friday’s announcement, I've decided to go crazy and conduct an experiment on myself! :) I'm going to change my diet significantly for the next few weeks.

It's going to be a big deal for this food-lover! I have no idea what will happen, but I'm hoping to see all kinds of benefits in my body and mind.

Today I'm setting up the "rules" for my experiment! I'm so, so excited. This is something I've dreamed about doing for many years, and I can't wait to see what happens!

Here's the deal: I'm going to eat natural food. I'm going to eat only the foods from the ground that God made, and I'm going to try to eat them in their original form.


the theory behind this experiment

Here's what I'm thinking... if we were to step back into the garden of Eden, and we had all of the food God made at our fingertips to eat, what would our health look like? How much are we really affected by what we eat now?

And what were we originally intended to eat before the fall of man? Definitely not meat, right?

What do we know God provided for them to eat in that perfect place? For sure? Plants- fruit from the trees.

Genesis 1:29-30 tells us what humans and animals were originally given to eat:

29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

So that's what I want to eat too. Things that are from plants and tree yielding seeds. No meats. No dairy products. No eggs.

Crazy, right?

I know. It totally is! I've never done anything like this before. :)


We basically have the world's plants at our fingertips. We are abundantly blessed with tons of food choices here. We have more than enough options to eat a balanced diet. I decided that I’m going for it! It’s a little scary, but entirely possible!


the original food diet “rules”

I'm creating my own scheme of foods based on what I've studied. I'm calling it the "original food" diet. For 40 days, I’ll be following these guidelines for what I eat! :)


My allowed foods are any naturally occurring plant-based foods:

whole grains
seasonings from seed plants


Foods I'll be avoiding: anything artificially or factory-created or any animal meat or animal product.

refined sugars
artificial sweeteners {this is huge for me!}

for those joining the challenge

I know some of you are planning to join me on this journey, and I couldn't be more excited to have your company! For those of you following along, I want to encourage you to make it personal- make it work for you.
There is no Biblical law that says you have to eat any certain type of food. There are no Biblical mandates about eating or not eating certain foods now. This is not right and wrong, this is an experiment for me just about choosing carefully what I add to my body. :)

I encourage you to study food and really think about what goes in, and decide what you will eat and not eat. :) I promise, I won't be upset if you eat pasta and cheese! This is just what I've decided to do for me. :D


what I’ll be sharing

My plan was to do this by myself, but my hubs started listening and reading about it, and he decided he's going to do it with me! Yay! So we will get a man's perspective and since he works out, he's going to do measurements to see how it works with muscle-building exercise, too!

I'll be tracking what I eat, and what I'm feeling, and how it's affecting my body and energy levels.  I'll be posting pictures of my meals, and I'll be sharing my favorite recipes along the way. I’ve created a pinterest board to share posts I love and recipes too. :)

I’ll be sharing my menu plan as soon as I can- but the really the whole idea is, if it’s from a plant with seeds, you can eat it. :)  {I’ll be saying goodbye to all of my favorite processed things in the next 48 hours! :P}

I’m so excited- just two days left! Are you going for it too? :D


don’t forget to enter the spring cleaning challenge!

living room spring cleaning | part 2

I'm still spring cleaning, how about you? {it's just so tempting to make that into a cheer... I was actually a cheerleader back in the 5th and 6th grade ;) ... we've got spirit, yes we do!}

One project at a time is my mantra with all these little ones running around. I made some progress on my list for the living room this week!

spring cleaning list for the living room:
wash couch covers
clean blinds
clean ceiling fan 
organize entryway buffet {last week}
dust pictures on walls
organize green radio cabinet
wipe down leather sofa
wash chair cover
wash curtains {if I get to them... ;)}
clean out coffee table cubbies
wipe down windowsills {added this one when I saw them!}

The sofas were my first project this week. The leather one got a good wipe down with water and I took the cushions off of this slipcovered sofa: 

The slipcover really needed another washing! I generally bleach them every three months or so.

and the coffee table cubbies needed some organizing!

a little later: 

and the magazine bucket was full of old magazines, books, legos and craft sticks:

Now it's a tech/devo basket!

I didn't go crazy with the cleaning of the blinds, just a simple wipe down to clean the dust and spots off of them:

Ah, so much better! :D

What little projects have you been tackling this week? :) 

don't forget, you still have a week to enter the big spring cleaning challenge!

monday goals + menu plans

Happy Monday my friends! 

I've missed doing these goals updates this month. Without a plan, I feel like I'm spinning my wheels, you know what I mean? The lovely thing is that even if I don't do everything on my list, I did more than I would've without it. Isn't that cool? :)

Here are my goals for this week:

cut out diet soft drinks {I'm going to try going cold turkey! what??}
teach extra fitness classes
find containers for transplanting seedlings
continue spring cleaning the living room {more details tomorrow!}
organize toiletry basket in bathroom
create timeline header
freelance web work 
buy paint for cabinets {this is a maybe! we decided to go another direction this month and worked on our family closet instead!}
plan out next week's menus for the God-made diet {that's the working title ;)}
print out this list so I can remember everything.... 

finish up Forgotten God {I bought the audiobook version! wohoo for multi-tasking!}
read two chapters of Quitter

finish memorizing 1 Peter 2:1-11 {I'm two weeks behind schedule... eek!}

take kids to the park for the last week of the sweetness experiment

menu plans:
taco salad w/chicken
spaghetti + salad
chicken sandwiches and sweet potato wedges
cheesy bean and rice burritos + guacamole/chips
dinner out
breakfast- omelets and homemade biscuits/gravy

What are your plans for this week? :)

food on friday :: introducing the original food diet

Source: via Mandy on Pinterest

I'm excited to bring you a brand new series for {food on friday}! You might've heard a little bit about it over here... ;)

I'm finishing up the details this week for a crazy experiment I will start in April. I'll be following a strict whole foods diet, and will be sharing about it here on Fridays!

I'm going to cut out refined and processed foods {and phase out artificial sweeteners too, hopefully} over the next 6-8 weeks, which I'm hoping will be long enough to create a life-long habit.

The idea behind this project is that I want to eat natural, real food in the form in which God made it. For example, instead of eating bread, I'm going to eat only whole wheat grains boiled. Instead of cereal, I'll eat just natural oatmeal.

I think it's going to be hard... {bye, bye, sweet pre-packaged chocolate chip fiber granola bars...! I'll miss you!}, but it won't about tracking calories as much as it will be about tracking actual intake. I want to consider what's really going in, and how does it affect my body and mind?

I'll be tracking any differences I notice in the way I feel {physically and mentally}, exercise, and look {skin, nails, hair, body composition}. I'm so excited! Slowly but surely I hope to carry it on to the whole family. :D

I love a good challenge, and though I eat well it's hard for me not to eat something junk food related like a bite of cookie or a handful of chips or cereal at least a couple times a day. I also love Splenda, but I would be thrilled to eliminate it from my diet. I'm not a fan of ingesting large amounts of chemicals! {though I do it! sheesh!}

Oh, and I completely love desserts. Sweets are my downfall! {are they for you, too?} I've never gone without them completely. Wow.

goodbye sweets, hello sweet potatoes!
I'm both nervous and excited. I won't be crazy obsessive about not eating something not on the plan if it's presented to me, but I will try my best to avoid it when I can to see how I really feel when I only eat the food God has provided in it's natural form.

I'm hoping this project will be like a spring cleaning for my body, so to speak. :) I'll be setting up the rules for my own experiment right here next Friday, and you're welcome to join me in the challenge if you want to! I'd love to hear about your progress!

I will be posting lots of real food resources and recipes along the way {as well as spilling the beans about what it's like to suddenly change your diet ;)}. Oh, and for fun we can have a little Twitter support group called #foodsGodmade throughout the week if you want to ask questions or post your thoughts! :D

One quick question for you though: have you ever strictly followed a real food diet? I'd love to hear your experience! Any recipes or resources you'd recommend? {there were some awesome ones you guys posted over on facebook!}

how to sell on ebay | pricing your item

This is the first part of a series on how to become a successful eBay seller. Many of you have asked for specific tips, and though I'm definitely no expert, I thought I could share what I've learned over the past few years of buying and selling on eBay. :)

Would you like to start selling on eBay for profit? You'll need these three secrets in your back pocket to help you list and sell your items successfully:

1. Know your item.

It's incredibly important to know the market value of your item. Don't try to sell it based off the price you paid for it three years ago. You have to know what that item sells for right now.

How do you know? After you log in to eBay, type in the name of your item in the search box, then check completed listings on the left sidebar {near the bottom}. It will look like this:

{notice the completed listings box is checked on the left}

You can see what iPads have sold for in the past 30 days by looking at the green amounts. Red means unsold. Avoid basing your item's worth on the red ones. Base it on the green ones. You'll want to look through all the listings to get a feel for the average.

If you can't find a single green sold example of your item, chances are that it won't sell for you either. Try listing it on Craigslist where it's free to list and relist forever. :D

2. Be a good deal.

Being a good deal is crucial if you want to turn over your inventory quickly. You will know the bottom range of your item's worth by checking the completed listings, and you'll want to price your item to fall a little above that.

A good deal sells, and most of the time it's only a few dollars under what you want to sell it for. Factoring in your time and the relisting fees, it's worth it most of the time to be a little lower than most items like yours.

If you're really needing the extra dollars, you can price it in the higher range, but realize it may take longer to sell.

3. Choose auction-style or buy it now.

Choosing your buying option makes a big difference in how you will sell your item. Buy it now is less risky, but costs significantly more in both listing and commission fees. If you really need to make a certain amount, do the math on the fees and price it accordingly. Listing as a BIN will ensure that you get the amount you want.

Most BIN purchases are generally higher than the average market cost. When you price a BIN toward the lower range, your item will likely sell very quickly. Frequent eBay shoppers have saved searches and get notified when the item they are looking for is listed.

Selling auction style is a little more risky, but the listing and commission fees are less, and if your item is described well and in good condition, you will probably get market value or a little higher. And you know exactly when your auction will end and you will need to ship the item.

The most important thing about pricing and listing your item is that you put effort into studying it: know what it's worth, and know how to price it based off the profit you need to make and how quickly you need to sell it by studying the completed sales stats.

And of course, describe it very, very well. But I'll share more about that next week!

Q: Everyone does it differently: how do you price your item to sell?

{what i wore this week} conquering the pajamas

wondering what this series is about? read here to find out more…

Okay, so did you know you helped me this week?

You totally did.

You see, I was thisclose to wearing my pjs all day, every day this week.

I think I must be officially old because the time change has seriously kicked my tail! I'm barely dragging out of bed these days, and those evil pjs and yoga pants won't let me get moving!

But the wiww series came through, and together we conquered the pj's. Yay!

Now I liked the top half of this outfit:

But the bottoms...not so much. That's another good thing about wiww- it shows you what you shouldn't wear. Hey!

I love my ebayed Hudson's ($27) but they were a tad too long for the platform sandals, eh? Ah well!

I scooped up a pair of black twill pants at the mall on our weekend away for $25 at H&M. Not too bad for a pair of skinny pants, a wardrobe staple these days. It's hard to find a cute pair! {paired with Gap clearance shirt, and my $5 vintage leather heels}.

I've been waiting to wear these for a while- I had to get a teeny bit closer to spring!

This combo was inspired by a marketing pamphlet from Blissdom. I like the combo!

{pants- Target, shirt, J. Crew clearance, shoes, Shoe Carnival sale}

and some fun flats:

And this was my favorite outfit of the week:

A $3 AE shirt with a $7 pair of thrifted jeans and the infamous $20 J.S. wedges:

What's really sad? Most of the time I get dressed and completely forget to take a pic. Today I decided to go for a cell phone pic if nothing else! :P

{I got the cutest pink belt at H&M for $6 in Dallas. Love.}

and then one last pic- {shirt old BCBG, jeans, AE, shoes, Gianni Bini, Dillard's}

What keeps you motivated to get dressed when your pj's won't let go?  :D

linking up at the pleated poppy for what i wore wednesday inspiration!

don't forget to enter to win some amazing prizes {including 2 washer and dryer sets!} in our Spring Cleaning Challenge!

enter the spring cleaning challenge + tackling my living room

Spring CleanIt's the first day of Spring!! Wow! How exciting to see another season!
Something about fresh lovely air, great temperatures, and the flowers blooming makes me want to clean everything, doesn't it you? heehee, okay, so not so much. It makes me want to be outside! ;)

But I do love a deeply cleaned and organized home- it makes my brain function so much better! And that's worth the little bit of extra time it takes to get it that way!

As I was thinking about my spring cleaning projects, I wanted to share something with you:

Don't feel bad if you don't do spring cleaning.

I'm so not a spring cleaner. This is the first year I've really done it. Part of it is that I've had four littles for almost three years now{!}. Sometimes it's just not the season for deep cleaning. Cleaning out your deep freezer before everything melts and replacing pacis and changing diapers at the same time might just drive you to tears. Trust me.

So read all the spring cleaning posts if you like to do that, but please, please don't feel bad or guilty if you can't pull apart your cabinets and declutter every corner of your home in two weeks.  It's okay!! :D Really. It is. Someday you will breathe again. I promise.

{and if reading spring cleaning posts makes you feel anxious in the meantime, don't do it! skip over them!}

Our life is so busy right now, and we still have little ones in the middle of everything so my game plan is to tackle a little project each day if I can! It might take until summer, but hey, that still leaves me ahead of where I started! 

One project at a time is my mantra for this season! It keeps spring cleaning from becoming overwhelming for me. :)

I'm working on our living room first! 

spring cleaning list for the living room:
Wash couch covers
clean blinds
clean ceiling fan 
organize entryway buffet
dust pictures on walls
organize green radio cabinet
wipe down leather sofa
wash chair cover
wash curtains {if I get to them... ;)}
clean out coffee table cubbies

I tackled the buffet first since it needed some serious organizing! You can see more pictures of our entryway reveal here!

So pretty. On the outside anyway...

Here's what it looked like on the inside:

It was hiding a monster! ;)

I took everything out of the drawers and made several piles.

Vacuumed the drawers:


I ended up with almost three empty drawers! Yes!!

On to the couch and fans tomorrow! I'll share more details over the next two weeks!

The Spring Cleaning Challenge details:


Link up your post with one of these buttons, and link up below. If you don't have a blog, no worries, just enter the url of your online photo album. Easy, right? :D You have until April 5 to link up!


Just leave a comment telling me your least favorite place to clean to enter!! Use the RaffleCopter below to enter a link to your blog post or follow any of the hostesses for an entry to win these amazing prizes:

Prizes up for Grab: TWO Washer/Dryer sets 
Prize up for Grab: one Do-it-Yourself Easy Track Deluxe Closet Organization Kit 
Prize up for Grab: one Professional Steam Pocket Mop

While anyone can enter their Spring Cleaning link below, the following prize promotion is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are at least 18 years of age and have a valid email address. You may view the official rules here

Link up your spring cleaning efforts here: 

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monday news + giveaway winner

The winner of the weekend giveaway is Mami2jcn. Congrats, I've sent you an email! :D

Don't forget that our spring cleaning challenge starts tomorrow!! I'm working on a spring cleaning project today! I'm excited to have motivation to do some deep cleaning!

You'll have two weeks to enter to win lots of awesome prizes including two sets of the newest GE washers and dryers on the market this year! :D How cool is that?

The linky starts tomorrow, right here, and I'll be sharing my living room spring cleaning project! {You can also link up an online photo album if you don't have a blog! yay!}

I can't wait to see what you're working on this spring! :D

unexpected blessings

When my friend Erin from Two Story Cottage sent me pictures of quotes to write about for the Gathered Thoughts linky party, I was so excited to see this one! :)

I just love this quote:

It's so, so true. C.S. Lewis always brings it, doesn't he? :)

You know when you have this plan in your head, and when it doesn't turn out the way you think it should, you feel slighted, or wonder what you did wrong?

About seven years ago, we were sinking in debt, and we decided to put our house up for sale so that we could live closer to the city we worked in. 

We were trying to keep up with our credit card bills and car payment, and we had quite a bit of equity in our new home we wanted to pull out. That and spending less in gas money would keep us afloat for quite while according to our plans.

But our home didn't sell for months.

All that time, I was so upset because we needed to move in my mind. As soon as we could.

Yet thankfully, God, in His mercy, didn't let us move until months later. 

The reason? 

We sold our house the very month that we were eligible to avoid the massive capital gains tax. We'd needed every penny of the return on our investment, and God didn't allow us to sell our home until the very right moment.

Time after time this keeps happening in our life, and I've even started to make an effort to write these things down when they happen, because God is always bigger than my plans. My plans, my thoughts, are so small- so short-sighted, but He sees everything!

Isn't that the most comforting thing ever? God, our Lord, our Father, holds our future in His hands- and He reigns over all of it. And we can trust Him!! Our future is held in His Hands! He brings us blessings, not harm, no matter what we see on our end. He is so good to us!!

Oh, what a glorious thing. Thank you Jesus for being the I AM. You bring joy to Monday mornings, and to every part of our lives.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 
Jeremiah 29:11

Q: Does this happen in your life too? Do you remember a time when God brought greater blessing than you planned? 

You can check out more gathered thoughts over here:

weekend giveaway :: book + $10 starbucks card

I'm excited to bring you guys another fun giveaway! This one is short and sweet- it ends Monday morning, so you have to act fast! :D 

I love March! It's so much fun giving you guys lovely things!

You can enter to win a softcover copy of this sweet book:

{here's an awesome little preview of it}

Words of Wisdom for my Sons by Lenore Schur Hendricks

and to go with it? this little baby makes it even nicer to curl up with your new book at Starbucks! {Wisdom and coffee seem totally related to me! :D}

one $10 Starbucks gift card

to enter all you have to do is: 

1. tell me one thing you'd like your son {or future son} to know! {2 entries}

and for an extra entry:

2. become a subscriber {1 bonus entry}

 you can subscribe for updates by email here:
or just hit the button to tell me how you already do! {thank you!}

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