weekend review

This weekend Mr.C & I…

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…went bowling and played euchre with friends

…soaked up the sun and nice weather

….spent an afternoon apart: Ryan played video games with his brother who lives on East Coast (technology’s great isn’t it?!) and I went with Jen to check out the exhibit and omnitheater film about Space at the Science Museum of Minnesota

…ran errands and relaxed with our latest Netflix obsession, Wentworth (think Orange Is the New Black…but a little darker + Australian!)

Hope you all had a great weekend too!

weekend review

This weekend Mr.C & I…

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…enjoyed the warm weather

…celebrated the engagement of our friends (Congratulations, Nicole + Brian!)

…laughed ourselves silly at the Brave New Workshop (50 Shades of Gravy)

…hosted game night for the gang at our place

…made fondue + finished House of Cards (Season 3)

…cleaned + organized Ryan’s old childhood toys

Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend as well!

weekend review

This weekend Mr.C’s mom came to visit. We had a fun time hanging out, shopping, playing card games, going to the movies (“Kingsman” was quite good!), and eating our way through the menu at Mozza Mia.

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On Saturday, Ryan enjoyed some mother-son time while I went wedding dress shopping with my friend, J.

Three stops and some delicious Rusty Taco tacos later, J found what she was looking for. Girlfriend’s gonna make one pretty bride!

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Fast February

This month has definitely flown by! But, it’s actually been a pretty quiet one.

We’ve just been settling into our new routine with Ryan working first shift – lots of family dinners followed by a quick game or two of cards or Ticket to Ride. Plus, we’ve been able to hangout with friends more now that our Friday nights are available.  We’ve been apartment hunting too although we wouldn’t move until August. We’re hoping to find a place in Bloomington or somewhere more central to shorten Ryan’s commute.

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I’ve finally been tackling some home and computer organization projects. Feels nice to check things off the list! I also had a girl date with my pal, Nicole, at Paint Nite (a social, booze-filled, two-hour art class where an artist leads the group through the process of painting a specific picture) which was really fun. Ryan and I ended up celebrating Valentine’s Day twice – once with an impromptu romantic dinner at home (sparkling juice on ice anyone?) and later at Outback Steakhouse (our favorite).

On the books for next week: wedding dress shopping with my friend, J, for her ceremony this fall and celebrating Ryan’s birthday – he turns 26!! This year he’d like a puppy… but sadly that’s out of the question with our current living situation, so he’ll have to settle for kisses from our friends’ furry creatures for now.

Hope you all have a great rest of the month. Can’t believe March is right around the corner!

$ Let’s Talk Money – Part 8: Food for Thought & an Update

click here to catch up on the rest of the series

Around The Web:

Below are a few articles I’ve read lately.

Just some financial food for thought!

Status Update:

Below is where we stand on our debt payoff journey.

On the way…one penny at a time!

Student Loan: $6,043.96

Car Loan: $11,450.00

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Living LEAP: Phase 6 Continued

Don’t know what LEAP/MRT is? Missed the start of this series? Click here to catch up.

As I mentioned in my last update, I have moved into the final stage in my MRT/LEAP journey known was Phase 6. Phase 6 is basically where you’re on your own. You’ve learned how to eat and what to eat and now you just live your life!

You can start to test out your highly reactive foods (red) and see how you respond to them.

All my results are posted here – but as a refresher:

My highly reactive foods and additives (red) are crab, lecithin, lemon, salmon, sesame, and spinach.

My moderately reactive foods and additives (yellow) are beet, cabbage, cashew, cheddar, codfish, coffee, dill, egg, red #40, garbanzo, green pea, maple, oat, pear, pinto bean, rice, salicylic acid, sodium metabisulfate, spelt, and strawberry.

So far I’ve tested lecithin, lemon, egg, and dill. All left me feeling under the weather. And, although they’re actually on my green (safe) list, mushrooms really bug me too (we assume because of an underlying mold allergy). Pineapple isn’t listed there either, but I get a bad stomach ache if I over eat it. I haven’t tested typical Bartlett pears yet but have tried Asian pears a few times and seem to tolerate those just fine. I’ve also successfully tested parsnips, chia seeds,  flax seeds/meal, and green and tulsi teas.

It’s just important to remember to that it’s all about variety and making sure to keep your diet diverse. If you do this, and make sure not to eat the same things day after day, you are more likely to not over-consume certain foods/food families to the point where you could possibly lose a tolerance for them or even develop a new sensitivity.

What I’ve been eating lately:

blogfoodcollagefeb15 Sweet Potato Havarti Soup
Apple Spice Pork Chops
Parsnip Fries
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili 
Turkey Mozzarella Meatballs
Bacon Asparagus Soup
Lovebean Fudge
Chocolate Coconut Fluff
Bacon Green Bean Bundles with Brown Sugar Glaze
Vegan Brownies
Egg-free Potato Latkes
Corn Casserole
Chocolate-Pomegranate Bark

What I’ve been using lately:

Argan Oil – just great another oil to add to my stash since I already love using jojoba, rosehip seed, grape, castor, and coconut. Argan oil is luxurious, light, and extremely hydrating.

Primal Pit Paste Happy Pits Sensitive Stick – I’ve been using this for little over a month now and love it! Since it’s baking soda free my pits are not irritated at all. Sure, I can be a little stinky by day’s end sometimes but that’s a small price to pay for keeping away from aluminum and other chemicals. Plus, I could always reapply during the day if I thought it was a real issue. I’ve noticed if I wipe a bit of apple cider vinegar or witch hazel on my underarms after washing or showering the deodorant works even better and I hardly smell at all after 12 hours of wear. I’ve found a few other baking soda free deodorants I’d like to try but for now I’m very happy with my Primal Pit Paste.

What I’ve been reading lately:

Nourishing Picky Eaters

Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea?

Is Your Gut Bacteria Controlling Your Appetite? – What To Do About It

8 Things My Family Learned When We Gave Up Processed Food For 100 Days

10 Skincare Mistakes

6 Reasons Cancer Rates Have Skyrocketed Since Your Grandparents’ Day That You Can’t Ignore

Natural v.s. Artificial Flavors

How I’m feeling:

Good. I’ve put on a few pounds thanks to the holidays, being lazy with meal planning, and adopting a more hermit lifestyle (hello cold weather, cozy couch, and Gilmore Girls marathon). I’ve also have been over indulging in the sweets lately too. Nomnomnom! But, nothing hopping on the elliptical, geocaching, and refocusing my eating habits can’t cure.

Wishing you all good health and happiness!

Life Lately

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I last posted about what we’ve been up to so I figured it was high time to play catch up.

Things are going well in the Carty household!

I’ve been slowly simplifying our belongings and organizing the place. We’ve gotten into a better routine when it comes to laundry and dishes. We recently transferred our budget over to Google spreadsheets and, since it’s now accessible to us at home, work, or on the go, it is much easier to track spending and stay on top of our goals. We’re also trying to meal plan more to keep our grocery budget under control and to set ourselves up for success health-wise. Our student loan debt is now down to $8K. Here’s hoping we can keep kicking ass and get it down to zero in May!

We’re also excited to announce that Ryan is finally on 1st shift. For real this time, guys! Some of you may remember us sharing the same news back in July when he was promoted to Operations Supervisor. Unfortunately the job requirements changed shortly after Ryan moved into that role and the day shift option was taken off the table. So for the past 6 months, we’ve felt pretty grumpy and discouraged. He’s worked 2nd shift (12 pm – 8 pm or later) since we got married and moved to Minnesota three years ago.  It gets old. We’ve been so ready to carpool, have family dinner, attend trivia night, go out on a Friday, and actually talk to each other in person during the week.

Thankfully, after many candid conversations with his managers and some shifts due to company growth, Ryan was able to step down from his supervisor position, move to 1st shift, and become the company’s new Returns Administrator. Monday was his first day working 8 am – 4:30 pm and so far, it’s as great as we hoped. Ryan’s re-energized about the company and his career and we’re both thrilled to start spending more time together.

Ryan said I better brag about myself a bit so I guess I will. I’m doing well at work too and have gotten some nice praise lately in addition to making a few placement bonuses. I’ve been helping management prepare for a conference presentation coming up in May. I’m also heading up our new website redesign project and creating it myself using WordPress. It’s a large undertaking but the end result will be so worth it (and is long overdue!).

In addition to being busy at work and getting our homelife in order, we’ve been making time to have fun as well.

We hosted game night and went to the movies. I met up with some of my blogger pals to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We also attended Ryan’s holiday party which was a blast.

Holiday PartyHis company hosts a grand get together every January to show their appreciation. This year it was held at The Depot Renaissance Hotel downtown Minneapolis and was Great Gastby themed. Hundreds of employees and their guests attended! They had delicious food, a photo booth, hoppin’ dance floor, and a bunch of casino games for entertainment.

It was a great night and a nice way for us to celebrate Ryan’s new role and the beginning of a new chapter for us.

So, that’s what’s been going on around here. Hope you all are doing well!

Cheers to a fantastic February!