APW Happy Hour


(Don't) put a little sugar in my bowl?

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

wedding cake on plates

Hey APW,

So over the last few weeks I totally cut out refined sugar (and a fair amount of simple carbs) from my diet. Has anyone done this? It’s… crazy. It all started a little on accident, when my acupuncturist diplomatically suggested that it might help me drop the baby weight if I ate, “less muffins, and stuff like that.” WAHHHHHH, right? If my husband wants to make me fresh muffins every morning… OKAY, FINE. I’LL TRY IT.

So I came home, and was like “NBD, gonna not have refined sugar or bread tonight.” And very quickly my body went into full-on withdrawal mode. Within a few hours, I realized that I was clearly pretty dependent on (goddamn) sugar, in a way I wasn’t comfortable with. So I went cold turkey (aka, sitting on the couch angrily eating raisins trying to get my fix).

Cue FOUR AWFUL DAYS of headaches, shakes, sweats, dizziness, and generally being a generally awful human. But two weeks in, my energy is better (even though the baby still wakes me up one or two times a night, and the preschooler bounds into our bed at 5:20). And even though I pretend I don’t care, the baby weight is starting to come off.

But still. Some afternoons the cravings hit, and I sit around thinking about how my whole life would be better with an ice cream cone. They say sugar is more addictive than cocaine, and now I believe it.

Anyone else tried this? What are your best tips?

Open thread. Hit it!

xo

Meg

PS: Happy Fourth to all of you celebrating! As for me, I’ll be celebrating the holiday and the day my favorite firework turns one.

link round-up

Why Cities Need to Start Planning with Women in Mind”: YAAAAAAAAAS.

How entitlement breeds entitlement: “All the Greedy Young Abigail Fishers and Me.”

Guys, Maddie’s grandmother now has her own radio hour in Maine, and it’s all about The Bachelorette.

Apparently US President Warren G. Harding was into writing steamy love letters.

Wonder Woman Became the Feminist Hero the ’70s Needed.”

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • E.

    I do it every once in awhile for a month or so, but one time i did it for an entire year! I found that it takes a few weeks for the cravings to lessen and after that it’s a piece of cake (haha). My tips until I get to that point are frozen strawberries and banana “ice cream” (freeze banana and then blend it until it’s the right consistency).

    • Jess

      I love banana ice cream.

      • BSM

        Earmuffs (eyemuffs?), Meg.
        .
        .
        .

        I’m sorry to put this here because it’s not no-sugar-friendly, but swirling in a little Nutella with your banana soft serve is amazing.

        • Jess

          Haha I do peanut butter. Delish.

        • E.

          So good! I actually just read a blog post this morning about different mix ins for banana ice cream. It’s on backtoherroots.com if you’re interested, I’m excited to try them!

          • BSM

            OMG. Pumpkin spice?!? And since you add pumpkin it’s like extra healthy, right?

          • E.

            I know right?? They sound SO good!

        • Cellistec

          Right, but for that you have to have a jar of Nutella in the house, and then I’m just going to eat that instead of the banana ice cream. Thwarted!

          • BSM

            https://www.amazon.com/Nutella-Single-Serve-15g-Count/dp/B00ARBEQQ6

            This may help curb the problem, but then you also have 120 single serve packs of Nutella on hand…

          • Cellistec

            Tearing open 120 single serve packets is not enough of a barrier for me.

          • Eenie

            How does this curb the problem!?! I would just carry packets of nutella around in my purse!

    • BSM

      Any recs for a new food processor for this? I had a great little Cuisinart one for quite awhile, but it finally died on me, and now I’m trying to decide if I should invest in a larger/better quality one.

      • E.

        I also have a little Cuisinart and a blender for things that don’t fit. I’m guessing all processors/blenders would be able to handle banana ice cream!

  • Katy

    Re giving up sugar: My husband and I did this for Lent this year. He had 3 days of what you described, I had one evening of it. Apparently it’s the toxins coming out of your system. I think I got off so lightly because I had gone to the sauna for a couple of hours that afternoon and drank a shedload of water. That’s my best advise really – and who doesn’t love a sauna?

    But good luck – it’s so hard! I’m back on the sugar and I need to cut it out again :-(

    • CMT

      Ehh, I don’t think it has anything to do with “toxins”.

      • Cellistec

        Yeah, I totally believe the addiction stuff.

        • Eenie

          Yup.

      • Jess

        “toxins” is one of my favorite recent food related buzzwords.

        Nobody knows what it means. It’s provocative. It gets the people going.

        • CMT

          It sure is a good-sounding buzzword! Although wouldn’t you feel *better* as the toxins left your system?

          • Jess

            No, there must be suffering. The toxins have become one with your body and tug at you as they are forced out. They will not go down willingly.

          • Violet

            LOL, I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic or not, but is it okay if I don’t care? This thread is very amusing.

          • Jess

            Go for it! I advocate for not caring most of the time.

            I was mostly being sarcastic, for the record, but I wouldn’t let it bother you.

          • Violet

            Okay cool, that’s kinda what I figured! (Getting rid of toxins are what sweat and kidneys are for, you don’t really need to do anything more extreme than that). But you know, just checking. Lots of folklore out there!

          • Jess

            Ha! I agree. I just get a kick out of people I know doing a “lemon and hot water cleanse” where they drink lemon and hot water to clean out their toxins. (?!)

            There is lots of folklore, and people get really worked up about it. I always picture little toxins holding on to muscles getting pulled out by juice. It makes me giggle instead of being angry that people are being so misled.

  • somebody

    today is one of those days I’ve been waiting for happy hour! this week wasn’t the best. I got passed over for something I thought I was a good candidate for and was really excited about, and my best friends want to go on a dream trip with me and I’m pretty sure I can’t afford it. blah.

    • Keri

      Well that’s no fun. Any fun long weekend plans to treat yourself?

      • somebody

        I think my neighbors are having a pool party, actually! so that will be fun. and I know, I know, I should focus on the positive and be glad that the negatives aren’t that bad, but it is hard to feel like not being able to afford things isn’t a moral failure.

        • Keri

          Totally not a moral failure! Everybody’s different, has different priorities, and is in different places, and what might work for someone doesn’t and shouldn’t have to work for someone else. You gotta do you! Which might mean that you can’t always do the awesome thing, but that doesn’t mean you can do other awesome things at another time.

        • Amy March

          Nope not at all! Agreeing to do things you can’t afford to do is way more problematic.

        • Eenie

          Also, it’s not a dream trip if you can’t afford it!

  • LadyMe

    I managed to score NY Comic Con tickets this week so I am pumped. Now to
    pick a cosplay. Would it be weird for a group of white 20-somethings to
    cosplay Hamilton?

    Also, did y’all see HRC’s post on The Toast today?

    • stephanie

      YESSSSSSSSSSSS. Queen.

    • Ashlah

      I haven’t been to The Toast yet today (been busy at work, and not quite ready to start my day-long mourning…). But omg. Going now.

    • cpostrophe

      the HRC Toast post has the best comment thread on the Internet today.

    • Jess

      OMG THAT POST.

      “Proudly take credit for your ideas. Have confidence in the value of your contributions. And if the space you’re in doesn’t have room for your voice, don’t be afraid to carve out a space of your own.”

      I teared up.

    • Kayjayoh

      I am only now getting to the APW Happy Hour, because I committed the last three days to reading all the comments on the last posts of The Toast. I can’t believe it’s over.

      I was introduced to The Toast vie APW link round ups. Wow. Three years, gone like that.

  • Jess

    I just finished reading Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” and it has definitely got me back into the mindfulness of food choices. Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. I’ve been a little neglectful of veggies and fruits over the past few weeks so I’m working on eating more of those. Plus choosing to not just watch OITNB for every dinner, or being on devices across from the table at breakfast with FH. It’s been a good week.

    Best of luck with the sugar beast – it’s berry season, can you have berries?

    • Kalë

      Berries with freshly beaten whipping cream is my favorite no-added-sugar treat! So decadent and satisfying but really not bad for you (unless you eat the whole pint of cream, which sometimes… happens).

      • Mari

        I tend to go for thick Greek yogurt, but may have to try freshly beaten whipping cream now… MMM.

    • LittleOwl

      That’s such great advice about the devices/TV. I’ll have to try it!

      • LadyMe

        I have to keep reminding my fiance to not bring his tablet to the dinner table. It drives me crazy, but apparently he’d read the newspaper during dinner growing up. We were never allowed to bring phones, papers, or anything to the dinner table and it blows my mind a little bit. Makes it so hard to talk properly!

  • Michigan Sara

    My husband has almost completely cut the carbs due to being pre-diabetic, so that has kind of spilled over into my eating. Dinner is meat and veg, instead of meat, starch, veg., which then is also lunch the next day due to leftovers. He picks and plans for a treat. He’ll be really good for the days leading up to an event (like the family BBQ tomorrow) and then can have some carbs at the event (beer or ice cream). He doesn’t crave the sugars as much anymore now that he has been off them since November. We don’t keep snacks other than cheese and trail mix in the house.
    Also, I make myself work for a treat. If I want ice cream, I have to walk the mile to the ice cream shop. If I want brownies, I make them from scratch (melt chocolate, mix flour, not a box). That helps slow my sweet tooth down!

  • k

    Ah, you’ve experienced what Paleo kids call “Carb Flu”… the good news is, the longer you do it, the less intense those cravings get. Your “sweet tolerance” will also change, so you’ll be much more sensitive to sugar and therefore need less to feel like you’ve had a dessert. My favorite secret was frozen cherries, and then pouring over a small amount of honey and coconut milk. The fat from the milk was satisfying, and the frozen cherries make the honey and milk freeze nicely into an “ice-cream” resembling treat. The other thing to remember is 80/20… if you can stick to it 80% of the time, and not completely blow it the other 20%, you’re doing AMAZINGLY. So for me, this treat counted as part of my 20%.

    • k

      Oh, and the most important part — add a little sprinkle of cinnamon, which is known to curb sugar cravings.

    • BSM

      This sounds really, really good. Sending the hubs out for frozen cherries right now.

    • Greta

      Also excellent with frozen mangos from trader joes! Love coconut milk with a lil bit of honey – that’s my “healthy” dessert occasionally during the week.

    • I just posted above about frozen blueberries and milk!

  • AP

    I’m finally going on my honeymoon!!! We’d put it off due to finances and limited time off after our wedding last fall, and then it started to seem like it would be our 5th anniversary before we actually bit the bullet and booked a trip. But after a particularly bad week of work for both of us last month compounded by family stress, we looked at each other and said ‘screw it, we need this.’ So we’re going to Mexico next week!! *And* I’m checking surfing lessons off my bucket list!

    Advice needed:
    I would LOVE some ideas for beach reads or light podcasts to download, and if anyone has been to Sayulita I’d also welcome some suggestions of things to do. (Or general surfing advice!) We’ve got 10 whole. days. to fill!

    • Jess

      Ooooh Sayulita! I was just there for Christmas. I did some body surfing, but that’s about the extent of my skill.

      Food though: Sayulita Cafe for molcajete and Il Tacate for the quesadilla jaimaica. The pizza place off the square (I think its across from Sayulita Cafe) is amazing.

      Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff was my beach read (along with A Practical Wedding actually!) and it was perfect.

      There’s also a fancy liquor store with an awesome unique tequila selection, and a textile shop near there with beautiful rugs and pottery.

      Have so much fun, and happy honeymooning!

    • Greta

      podcasts: Call your girlfriend, stuff mom never told you, invisibilia!

      • AP

        I keep seeing Call Your Girlfriend mentioned around here, I think it’s time to check it out!

        • Jess

          Definitely! They are hilarious ladies and they have a monthly newsletter called The Bleed.

        • Greta

          It’s THE BEST. Love them.

      • Shawna

        I love SMNTY, but I could not get into Call Your Girlfriend, which I feel is taken by some as some sort of heresy. Could you recommend an episode as a good intro? I just wasn’t into the conversation that felt like it was missing a point. SMNTY grabs me with the topic and research even if I’m not always invested in C&C’s jokes and tangents (getting there, though). Maybe it was a new-to-podcasts reaction? Help?

        Other recs: Modern Love (short and sweet), and if you happen to be a big Shakespeare nerd you HAVE to listen to the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Shakespeare Unlimited. It is so awesome. The Othello and Blackface episode made my mind asplode with the revelation about the handkerchief not being white…

    • Rebecca

      My fiancé and I went to Sayulita on our very first vacation together, four years ago. It was such a blast. I can’t remember exactly how we got to it, but some locals told us about a second beach that wasn’t as crowded or full of vendors as the main one. You have to go down this road that looks like you’re walking into a resort or something. So I’d look into that.
      We also loved the burritos at Burrito Revolution.
      Finally, we were brought together by having to deal with an enormous spider who dashed under our door and into the Airbnb where we stayed. So, if your door leaves a gap, it might be worth plugging it with a towel. Then again, now my fiancé and I know that I’m the one who will be killing spiders in our family.
      Have a wonderful time!

      • Jess

        Los Playos de los muertos – past the cemetary – it’s a great beach.

    • Kalë

      This is not very helpful, but I went there years ago and had the BEST key lime pie I’ve ever had. I still think about it. I don’t remember the location or the name but it was a lower-end boutique-ish hotel with a restaurant. I want to say there were like “semi outdoor” or “open air” treehouse style rooms overlooking the restaurant? Seriously, the best, ever, in life, key lime pie. Please report back if you find it.

      • AP

        Maybe I’ll go around calling out ‘key lime pie?’ like I’m looking for a lost puppy and just see what happens…

        • CMT

          I don’t think this is a strategy that can go wrong.

        • KPM

          Just try every key lime pie you see until you find nirvana.

          • Violet

            DAMNIT, so many good ideas in today’s Happy Hour…

          • AP

            YESSSSS

          • Kalë

            This is the only answer

    • LittleOwl

      Yay!!!!!! So exciting. I read books by Jill Mansell on my honeymoon and they are amazing! Perfect for the beach- just the right amount of drama and fun characters with happy endings. For podcasts I love “call your girlfriend” or coffee break Spanish for your Mexican adventure. Enjoy!!

    • Liz

      I was just in Sayulita in April! Playa de los Muertos is great; San Pancho is a town that is a cab ride away, but the beach is much bigger and less crowded than Sayulita proper.

      For food, I recommend: Los Corozones (fancy), Mary’s (amazing tacos), Yah Yah’s (coffee and breakfast), Burrito Revolution (self explanatory), ChocoBanana (frozen chocolate bananas), Ino (Italian food), La Esperanza (delicious health food). Hotelito Los Suenos offers a week of yoga classes for a reasonable price, if you’re into that. Mostly we ate (clearly), laid on the beach, did yoga, and wandered around town!

      We also had a GIANT spider in our AirBnB. We named him Leg Zeppelin.

      • AP

        Yes, definitely yoga!! I’ll check that place out!

    • Nell

      I read ALLLL the Divergent books on my honeymoon. Not great literature, but definitely good low-key reading after super adventurous days out in the sun.

      • Emily

        I also did this on my honeymoon! Definitely good beach reading.

    • Essssss

      The Martian! And the neopolitan novels by Elena Ferrante!

      • AP

        Ahhhh I’ve had my eye on My Brilliant Friend. It’s a top contender!

    • CII

      Tacos El Ivan near the square at night for tacos al pastor (no signs – just look for the guys with the giant pork and the flying pineapple). Antonia’s for sopes or posole. Sayulita Fish Taco for drinks and crowd-watching in the square. All the Italian food is weirdly very good.

      If you’re into this sort of thing, San Pancho Birding Tour with Luis Morales. He’s super nice and very good information about the community of San Pancho. La Ola Rica in San Pancho for fancy dinner.

      • Vanessa

        “just look for the guys with the giant pork and the flying pineapple” +1

    • Sparkles

      For podcasts, you should totally try “Mystery Show”, it’s amazing. Really funny and heartfelt and not heavy at all. Sadly, there are only six episodes, and you’ll just devour them.

      For books: I just finished “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty, and loved it. It was so easy to read. It might not be the best honeymoon book, because divorce is a major theme, and I cried for about half of it, but I found it very easy to read. Also, “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion is a really easy beach book, about a man with (probably) Aspbergers trying to find a life partner.

    • Stacey Cuddhy

      You can try “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent. It’s not a light and fun story, but it’s set in the late 1800’s Iceland which is a fairly unusual setting for an historical novel. A friend of mine gave it to me and it was a great read on the airplane.

  • Rebekah Abeja

    Oh man, my sugar addiction is the worst. I tried to dial it back a couple months ago by only allowing added sugars in my diet a couple days a week. It helped, I stopped crashing in the afternoon and needing a sugary pick me up, but I’m pretty much back where I was. Being on summer break from work has allowed for way too much ice cream and sugary cereal! I should probably get back on the wagon sometime soon, because I am still not in control of it.

  • anonpsu

    I haven’t completely cut out sugar but I definitely reduced it over the past few years. It took me like 6 months to wean off sugar in my tea (used to do 2 tsp, now I do none). I have found that my tastes have changed a bit. Before I couldn’t imagine anything being “too sweet” and now I actually know what people mean when they say that. Not sure if I could ever totally cut it out….but maybe I should (I’m sure it would help with the non-baby related weight around my waist…).

    • Kalë

      Feel ya on the non-baby weight. Wish I had something or someone to blame besides poutine for my ever-softening tummy

      • Keri

        Grad school? :) I had the realization this week that I had to get my business in order if I wanted my dress to not be uncomfortably tight on my wedding day. #spanxasachoicenotanecessity

        • Shawna

          Grad school weight is real. I never had a problem with craving sugar before it, but during and after now I find myself easily eating half a tub of ice cream or polishing off a chocolate bar. This from the girl who used to carefully portion out her Halloween candy til the following year.

          Trying to find a meal plan that isn’t super restrictive so it’s realistic to continue for life, but maybe that in itself is not realistic?

          • Keri

            I think the hardest part was that you’re just sitting for hours and hours in class or reading or whatever, but then you’re exhausted even though you haven’t used your body at all, so I’d be hungry and not want to exercise. Plus a combo of late nights/early mornings. By the end, I was just trying to get through it and go for walks at least.

          • Shawna

            ^^^^^^THIS (minus the walks)! Plus I went to school for acupuncture and the stress around what was socially “ok” to snack on in class (70%+ chocolate, protein, etc) meant I indulged more at home.

            This is my general problem with diets. I find myself rebellious against them just because I don’t like being restricted with eating even if I wouldn’t have otherwise had as much of said thing before being told I couldn’t have it.

          • I’m in the middle of this right now – eating SO much PhD-induced sugar, and I was a nearly no-sugar person before. Trying to get it under control.

    • Me

      The thing that worked for me in the past, was having dessert once a week – usually weekends. As long as I had something to look forward, I could handle it.

      Sometimes trying to cut something out completely sets a person up for failure, though YMMV.

      But yes, carbs and sugar are the key to weight loss. All the newer studies show that exercise barely impacts weight – it helps to calibrate it. Diet is the end all and be all.

  • Danielle

    Ugh, sugar. It’s my one main addiction. Especially chocolate. I know it’s a problem but IT TASTES SO GOOD.

    However, not one but TWO beloved people in our lives passed away due to complications from diabetes in the past 6 months. Is there a way to reduce sugar/sweets without eliminating it entirely? I just feel like I can’t go cold turkey quite yet. A plan or some sort of structure would help. (Full disclosure, I have also gained some weight the past year and don’t feel great about it.)

    • Not Sarah

      I have been trying to eat chocolate with less sugar in it, rather than eliminating chocolate entirely. I’ve actually found my sweet tooth for ridiculously sugared mainstream chocolate is now gone. This is much more expensive, but I find I eat less of it, so it evens out.

      • Danielle

        I get fancy dark chocolate… but it’s SO GOOD I CAN’T STOP EATING IT.
        Especially the salty kind — that is my CRACK! Srsly I would mainline it if I could.

        • Sparkles

          I stock up my pantry with Lindt Bars on sale, the dark chocolate ones. I can’t decide if the black currant or the sea salt ones are better. They’re sooo good!

    • Kalë

      I try to have three “healthy days” a week. That means gym, long walk, and no sugary/high carb stuff. If I’m feeling especially virtuous, I don’t eat any non-veggie carbs at all. I figure it’s better than nothing? And then don’t feel as bad for indulging and being lazy on the weekend or after a hard day at work.

    • Greta

      Try and figure out when and what are your main sugar sources. I don’t want to live without dessert occasionally after dinner, but when I kept a food diary for a week, I realized how much junk I was mindlessly eating at work. The doughnuts someone left in the work room; the candy someone has out in the office; getting juice/soda instead of water with lunch. I cut out all sugar at work, and within 2 weeks had lost 5 lbs, without changing anything else! I really hadn’t realized how much I was randomly eating during the day that I really didn’t even enjoy. Now my dessert after dinner after a long days work? That I truly enjoy, savor, and now feel that I’ve earned a few times a week.

      • Danielle

        What: Chocolate
        Where: Work for sure! I eat so many snacks at work because a) they’re around, and b) I get stressed, bored, and actually sometimes hungry, and they’re the easiest, most immediate source of relief. Ugh. This is embarrassing to realize/admit. Maybe I’ll try bringing healthier snacks to work next week and being more intentional.

        • Violet

          I’m the same! I like to treat myself for sure (see Team Sugar downthread), but when I know it’s NOT a good time for sweets, I drink a glass of water or cup of mint tea instead. This is usually when I’m at work, like you. Getting up to get said refreshment clears my head long enough to then realize I don’t really want the sugar.

        • Keri

          I don’t know what your workplace is like (I’m imagining people bringing stuff, not just a vending machine), but chances are if you realize the over abundance of snacks is a problem for you, your coworkers might be feeling the same way – I know I’ve been in an office where it just gets to be too much, all the time. May be time for a “Let’s Cool It With the Cookies” chat?

          • Violet

            Our office doesn’t have *tons* of free food, but there is usually some. I ask myself, “Would I pay to eat this?” If not, that means I don’t value it, and therefore, shouldn’t consume it. If it is something I’d pay for, I then just decide whether it’s a good time to eat it. But just because someone brings something/there’s leftover food from a meeting doesn’t automatically mean I eat it.

          • AP

            “Would I pay for this?” is SUCH a great question to consider! I do a version of this too, especially around things like grocery store cupcakes and cookies that always seem to be at potlucks but that I actually don’t like at all and would never buy for myself.

          • Not Sarah

            Yes! I never eat the grocery store cupcakes people bring in or the mix cupcakes – only the stuff from the people who bake delicious things from scratch.

          • Danielle

            Actually it’s both. Sometimes people bring things, but mostly our office is stocked with snacks and drinks because… I don’t know, they are trying to be a “cool” and “hip” environment? (nvm that I would prefer other actually-helpful things, like a raise, but whatever).

            Perhaps I could talk to the office manager about getting healthier snacks.

      • Sara

        Oh my god, in my first job out of college my cube was next to the ‘food cube’ where people would bring “oh I just bake for fun” treats, or bagel fridays or leftover halloween candy. I gained SO MUCH WEIGHT. It was ridiculous. I try really hard to avoid ‘free’ work treats now. They aren’t free when I have to go to the gym.

    • Her Lindsayship

      This is one of those things that a food tracking app can majorly help with! For some people this is just too tedious to be effective, but I found it somehow calming to take a few moments after each meal to track what I had eaten and look over my stats for the day. I used MyFitnessPal. You can even set goals for yourself (like eating less than x grams of sugar each day) and it lets you know when you’re about to exceed them for the day. For me, this is easier to implement than saying I’m going to cut this or that from my diet, because I’m a giant brat and can’t deal with these limitations.

      • Danielle

        I’ve never tried a fitness app, i guess they kinda intimidate me? I work out and generally try to be healthy, but it does seem tedious to track everything.

        Since you and a few others like this app, maybe I will try to get over my fear and just download it!

        FWIW if eating doughnuts is wrong, then I am a brat too :)

    • Keri

      Have you thought about logging your food? I’ve been on myfitnesspal for years (sometimes more faithfully/successfully) than others – but one of the nice things is that it puts things in perspective if you are logging ahead of time. Like, okay, do I really want an ice cream and then I’ll be totally out of calories, or do I want something more filling? etc. Plus it can keep track of your sugar (or whatever nutrient you are interested in).

    • anonpsu

      I know I tend to binge so I don’t keep much sugary stuff at home. We never have ice cream in the house because I’ll eat an entire quart in a few days time. Like I said above, I cut it out slowly. Started with no more soda probably 10 years ago (I may have a coke once a month). I noticed that soda was making me crash hard and I can’t drink diet because of the aspartame. Then I cut it out of tea/coffee in the morning….Stopped any afternoon candy….Now I still eat cakes/desserts but I consume much less than I normally do. I’m not into cutting out all carbs since I a) know that I’m not a big carb consumer anyways — we don’t eat much pasta and b) cutting out ALL carbs can screw up blood sugar (which is counter-intuitive I know).

    • Cellistec

      I eat ALL THE CHOCOLATE. I’m surprised there’s any left for other people. But two things that are helping me curb this are the Weight Watchers app (reality check) and eating more leafy greens (reduces sugar cravings). Either one could be worth a shot.

      • Danielle

        Hubby is actually thinking of going back to WW. Maybe we can support each other.

    • I eat less sugar by not buying sweets/cookies/etc (except ice cream. We do buy ice cream. But only on our monthly trip to the cheap grocery store because it is too expensive in the city). So I will eat things that I make (but I’m lazy and it is too hot to turn the oven on to bake). And if someone brings in cake or cookies for birthday stuff, then I will happily eat it. But not buying things/snacks is definitely my easiest way to not eat sugar.

      • Danielle

        This is a good plan.

        I feel you on ice cream.

        The city I live in, Columbus, OH, has amazing local ice cream (Jeni’s) that is so fresh and delicious, and made with actual real ingredients. It is like a meal in the way it is filling and satisfying. That could be a good treat for me in any attempts to reduce sweets. Because it is fairly expensive, so it really is (financially and calorically) good for special occasions, not an everyday thing.

      • Recently when I am at the grocery store and want to buy ice cream, I remind myself that I really enjoy frozen blueberries with milk, and I go buy a bag of frozen blueberries. Somehow a bowl of frozen blueberries with milk satisfies that urge for me most of the time. But I also eat ice cream sometimes too. :)

  • Keri

    Really starting to feel some wedding emotions – a little over a month to go. Got a lot of stuff done last weekend and this week and starting to really feel how every day, it gets closer and closer. It’s been a little rough this summer, because my best friend/maid of honor is away for a month for a job at a camp and has been crazy busy/hard to catch. Today I brought our old dishes from our old apartment to Goodwill, because we replaced them with new dishes from the registry. I texted her to say it made me kind of sad, and she wrote back, “It’s the end of an era!” and I got teary. Not usually my cup of tea but I’m thinking the solution to all these feels might just be to go see a Pixar movie and just cry it the hell out. Can anyone confirm/deny – will Finding Dory hit the spot?

    • E.

      I really enjoyed Finding Dory and I definitely cried. As sequels go it was pretty good!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Yep, can confirm – if you’re already feeling emotionally vulnerable, you will get an excellent Pixar cry from Finding Dory. Enjoy some you time!

      • Keri

        Yes! I think I’m going to make it one of our fun 4th of July plans since LITERALLY everyone we know is out of town this weekend.

    • MK

      Solidarity. Our wedding is in 6 weeks tomorrow and I’m feeling all the feelings! I keep thinking, “haha world, you mean 16, or maybe 26 weeks, right?” I’m so excited to get married, but it’s feeling very, very real. And soon.

  • Kalë

    Off on a mini-vacay tomorrow! Work has been particularly stressful lately, and I’ll be so happy to get away with my honey for a week. Any Portlanders have tips – yummy food, especially? We’ll be passing through this weekend and next weekend on our way to his family’s vacation house (!!) near Bend.

    • Jess

      All the things. Powells for books and Maurice Luncheonette is right by them. Clyde Common is an amazing dinner spot, and the bar downstairs Pepe Le Moko is awesome. POK POK!

      • Kalë

        Pok Pok!!! We’re DEFINITELY stopping there. In fact, it’s my only must-do. :)

        • Keri

          I don’t even know what that is, but I want it.

        • Jess

          The drinking vinegars and vietnamese coffee are super awesome too. And you can stop by House Spirits to taste some delicious whiskey if you go to the one on the east side.

        • A.

          Good luck choosing what to order!! Definitely try the drinking vinegars (and if you drink/enjoy cocktails, one of the cocktails with them). It can sound like a weird/unpleasant concept, but they’re SO wild and delicious and addictive.

        • CP2011

          Yes, though I’ll caveat that if the wait is too long, you can eat at their lounge across the street and get the same food (limited menu, but generally immediate seating). I’m not a line-waiter, which means I’m never one to reccomend salt and straw either (though it is definitely fun for people who live in other places!). Enjoy your trip!

        • CP2011

          There’s also a local-only craft beer festival going on this weekend if you’re into beer!

          • Kalë

            YES to beer! I’ll look into it!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Blossoming Lotus is amazing, even if you’re not vegan! And get thee to Powell’s. It’s unreal!

    • A.

      I lived in PDX for 5+ years and it’s still my one of favorite cities of all time. For food, it has to be said: The street carts are amazing.

      I prefer the ones on the east side due to them being the most interesting, generally speaking. You’d need a car to get to most of them though, unless you don’t mind bridge crossing and lots of walking on half-sidewalks. But right downtown, there are some really awesome ones between the Pearl and Pioneer Place (I want to say around Alder and SW9th?). You can have a very inexpensive, very delicious, very unique meal there or in any of the locations. foodcartsportland dot com has you covered if you want to find interesting stuff.

      • A.

        AND GO TO THE JAPANESE GARDENS YES THIS REQUIRES ALL CAPS AND NO PUNCTUATION

    • Glen

      Salt and Straw for ice cream. Even the “weird” flavors taste soooooo good.

  • A.

    “Lord, make me chaste but not yet.”

    …basically how I feel about my eventual plan to go refined-sugar-and-carb free. Props to you for doing it!!

  • BSM

    My favorite no-refined-sugars treat are the Just Mango and Just Bananas (dried mango and bananas with no added sugar) from TJ’s. Sooooo good, especially if you’re into fruit leather or chewy textures.

    • Jessica

      The Just Mango stuff is like delicious leather.

  • cpostrophe

    I was going to wait until another Monogamy Monday before posting this, but this is too good to wait on:

    earlier this week a man wrote a Medium piece about his failed marriage, his polyamory, and his coming to terms with his wife conceiving their first child with the person who she left him for. It was called “Love Will Be The Death of Us” started going viral. (https://medium.com/ian-mackenzie/love-will-be-the-death-of-us-7baa690dcd0#.ogdhor62x)

    It is written in a flowery style that some people call beautiful, but it’s also … problematic.

    Another blogger took it apart in a great critique that named this genre of writing, “The Sad Boner Confessionals” (http://www.alexandraerin.com/2016/06/why-ianmacks-boner-is-the-saddest-boner/)

    key quote:

    “You can tell you’re reading a Sad Boner Confessional when a man is describing the worst trauma of a woman’s life purely in terms of what it means about him. You can tell you’re reading a Sad Boner Confessional when a man is telling you everything he’s learned from the mistakes he’s made but none of those things are accountability or personal responsibility. You can tell you’re reading a Sad Boner Confessional when all admissions of past sins have a sheen of humblebragging about them.”

    and she also posted a note-perfect parody response (https://medium.com/@alexandraerin/infidelity-will-be-the-death-of-my-marriage-1020720676ef#.vh6p3vg2l)

    and I just wanted to share all of this because this week I learned that, like “broken stair”, “emotional labor”, and “mansplain”, “Sad Boner Confessional” is a useful term to describe a swath of problematic behavior that I felt like I could identify but could not name.

    • Ashlah

      Yes! I just read these yesterday, and her parody is SO GOOD. Thanks for linking them here.

    • Arie

      THANK YOU. I just laughed so hard I snorted at my desk. Brilliant.

      • raccooncity

        This killed me in the original article, leading to LOLs where the author probably hadn’t intended them:
        “We should have known before my planned departure to the Burning Man gathering in Nevada.”

        Sad boner confessional indeed. Also amazing that the article starts with masturbating, which is really an allegory for the entire article itself, in a way.

    • LadyMe

      I read the dude’s original post and was very bothered by it. That parody goes a long way in helping with the discomfort!

    • Jess

      Sad Boner Confessional = so many books I read to be “literary”

      • cpostrophe

        Ernest Hemingway, represent!

    • Not Sarah

      This just…boggles my mind. It sounds like they should have split up instead opening up the relationship, but that they weren’t ready to part with each other.

  • the cupboard under the stairs

    I used to eat SO MUCH MORE sugar than I do now, and I find that I rarely crave it anymore. Sometimes I’ll eat a piece of cake and literally feel hungover the next day because my body’s not used to digesting that much sugar! It’s actually a really great incentive to stick with a healthier diet…Oh, I’m gonna have a massive hangover the day after I eat cake? Okay, won’t eat cake anymore! Same thing happened when I quit drinking for a couple weeks…oh, two bottles of beer dehydrates me like whoa? ‘Kay, probably not gonna do that anymore!

    • Cellistec

      Yeah, I started getting conscious about my sugar intake a few years ago, and while I love me some baked goods still, I feel like crap as soon as I eat them, so some of the thrill is gone.

    • lady brett

      yeah, the way your body adjusts its normal is amazing. i am not a “cold turkey” sort of person, but we cut down on carbs years ago, and it was *so hard* – until it wasn’t. and it still isn’t. same with sugar when i cut down on cokes (my primary source of sugar) – one day i became unaccustomed enough that they stopped tasting good, at which point it became easy.

  • Amy March

    I am literally eating cake with icing and sweet tea right now, in case anyone else is on team sugar is natural, nontoxic, and wonderful.

    • Violet

      I am on that team. We should get shirts made. Haagen-Dazs is in my immediate future.

      • Cellistec

        Team ALL YOUR CAKES ARE BELONG TO US

        • Violet

          Laughed so HARD. Excellent reference, Cellistec. A+ Happy Houring.

    • Jess

      My coworker literally just brought me a mini donut and said “mini donut Friday y’all?”. It was so delicious.

      • Jess

        I like your coworker’s style.

    • JenC

      I’ve had two cookies already today…

    • Ashlah

      Both of my co-workers have gone sugar-free, and I’m like whatever, more cookies for me then.

      • Violet

        I like your style.

    • Jessica

      I’ve cut out all grains, and should at the very least cut down on sugars, but at the same time WHEN YOU HAVE NO BREAD AND NO SUGAR WTF DO YOU HAVE??

      • Keri

        just plain turkey burgers, all the time.

        • Jessica

          With kale.

          • Keri

            and kombucha? (shrug).

          • Jessica

            I did just have amazing kombucha that tasted like a sour beer brewed in MN

          • Keri

            TBH I have never actually even smelled much less tasted kombucha, but it seems like it fits in nicely with the kale crowd.

          • Eenie

            Kombucha is awesome, and actually has quite a bit of sugar depending on the flavor (80 grams in some).

          • Keri

            Damn it, this is why you need to research your jokes!

          • Anon

            but it is mostly eaten out by the bugs!

          • Eenie

            Some of it is, but there’s some brands that are still really sugary. There’s a difference, and I can taste it (and it shows it on the label!).

          • Jessica

            It definitely does fit in with the kale crowd. I brewed it in college and what I made tasted like vinegar–this stuff is way way better.

      • Eenie

        Vegetables, fruit, and meat! So is my life. When you don’t eat any added sugar any fruit tasts like candy!

        • LadyMe

          I just… can’t do fruits. The textures just weird me out way too much.

          • Keri

            If I eat too much fruit, my mouth hurts. Like I can’t have strawberries and an orange in the same day, or it’s like my mouth gets burnt and it stays like that for days. I try to mix it up with less acidic ones, but still.

          • Eenie

            I love eating a whole pineapple and then not being able to taste anything the rest of the day :D

          • Keri

            I am cranky just thinking about that, ha ha.

          • Eenie

            There’s a precut pineapple from Sam’s club that is waiting for our cookout tomorrow so I can grill it! It’s a very clear addiction, I can have just a little.

          • Anon

            strawberries and citrus are two things that people are commonly allergic to

          • Laura C

            High five or something. Though for me, worse than texture (though I am extremely sensitive to texture) is when a piece of fruit isn’t totally ripe or just isn’t very flavorful, I find that sort of underflavored fruit taste to be unpleasant .

            So there are a few fruits I can do IF they are exactly the right amount ripe, which basically means I am restricted to local fruit perfectly in season. So, like, two weeks of strawberries, two weeks of nectarines, and a month of apples. But mostly I just say I don’t like fruit, because in 99% of cases that’s true, and no point in expecting other people to remember under which circumstances they should offer me fruit.

          • Alanna Cartier

            Me too! I can only really do apples, some pears and maybe plums? I love the taste of fruits, but I cannot handle the texture.

        • Jessica

          It’s mostly my life, but there is a little maple syrup and a fair amount of wine, with the occasional cocktail.

          • Eenie

            Oh yes wine. I buy by the caseload! And maple syrup. Yum.

    • Her Lindsayship

      YEP. A colleague of mine is doing the no-sugar diet right now too, and every day she’s been detailing her detox symptoms (for instance, apparently it’s perfectly normal to experience a lot of itchiness. what??) and I can’t help thinking… Is this worth it? She’s not that extreme of a sugar consumer in the first place.

      • Largely: not worth it. People who consume a lot of sugar may see great short term benefits, but there’s not much science on long term positive effects, and the diet itself can be pretty unsustainable long term (see: after Whole30 people slingshot back to old buying habits because the new ones are a HUGE pain in the ass and typically more expensive/time consuming).

        From what I’ve seen, I feel like a lot of the dramatic short term benefits can also be chalked up to the fact that cutting out “refined sugar” tends to mean you drastically cut your processed food intake, which means you’re also cutting out a lot of sodium with it. And right now, there’s a fair amount more science behind trying out a low sodium diet than there is in cutting out sugar and carbs.

        But then, my whole family went down the rabbit hole of diet and lifestyle research that led to a bunch of us each dropping 20+ pounds, after my dad suffered a minor stroke about a year and a half ago. High blood pressure runs in my family and my husband’s, so we wanted a lifestyle change that was sustainable and rooted in some science. Low sodium was the winner. My dad and stepmom went farther and keep up with a mostly paleo diet (minus holidays, because cake is great), largely because it gave them an easy to follow format.

        TL;DR: just because your body feels withdrawal doesn’t mean your diet is actually going to be effective long term.

        • Her Lindsayship

          I just upvoted this so hard you probably felt a tremor through the Internet.

    • Jess

      Yummmmmm. I plan on eating a slice of my birthday cake when I get home and I plan on not regretting a bite.

    • TeaforTwo

      Amen.

      I had never dieted in my life until I tried a Whole30 about a year and a half ago. I absolutely felt better in the ways that people rave about – mostly that my energy soared and I didn’t have that 3pm slump any more, and stomach troubles I hadn’t even realized were troubling me disappeared. I was losing weight, too, which I also pretend not to care about but did secretly like.

      You know what? It was totally not worth it. Not even a little bit. After 2 weeks I went back to my normal pattern of eating. Sugar tastes delicious. Alcohol is delicious and recreational. Being able to go out with friends for a meal or a drink and pick whatever sounds good from the menu is worth more to me than avoiding that afternoon slump. That slump is what coffee is for. Or cookies.

      • Amy March

        Srsly the Whole30. Beyond thrilled for people who are happy with and and feeling better. Beyond annoyed at hearing them talk about it all the time. No, your vinegar restrictions are not a fun topic of conversation.

        • Cellistec

          Vinegar restrictions? What? If vinegar is your drug of choice, you’re doing it wrong.

          • Eenie

            Whole30 is all about cutting out added sugar. Some vinegar has sugar added (along with ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad dressings, etc.).

      • Violet

        Of course food can affect things, but the two-process model of sleep pretty much guarantees a mid afternoon slump for most people. Nothing to beat ourselves up over.

      • Ashlah

        I’ve definitely become more conscious and intentional with my food choices, which is great, and I feel a lot better now that I don’t eat cereal for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and pasta for dinner. But I know myself, and I know that a restrictive diet of any kind will not work for me. And, like you, the pleasure I get from treats is worth more than other potential health/body effects. There’s a balance, and it’s different for everyone (and it might change for me over time!), but I feel good where I am right now. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • Violet

          Me too; I like food for function AND for enjoyment. I don’t find it enjoyable to completely cut things out OR to eat tons of something, so moderation it is. I’s kind of the best of both worlds for me.

        • BD

          I’m a believer in balance too! And yeah, refined sugars/simple carbs are bad and we should be eating less of them, but none? Ever?? NO CAKE??? That just seems like cruel and unusual punishment. I mean, I’m gonna die even if I don’t eat cake, so I may as well eat the cake.

        • tr

          I hate restrictive diets for the long term, but I will say, I find them super helpful in the short term. Going a week or so without any processed foods or simple carbs really helps me eat more consciously in the months afterward, and has helped me break a lot of bad food habits. Once or twice a year, I’ll go suuuuper restrictive for about a week, and during that week, I pay attention to which things I really miss, and which things I’ve just been eating out of habit and convenience. Eventually I tend to fall back into at least a few of my old habits (hence the need to repeat the diet every so often), but I’m definitely more conscious for months afterward.

          • Kayjayoh

            I’ve take to using Lent for this. It is difficult and irritating, but it makes me be intentional about my food. This year I gave up meat, eggs, and dairy, which is a pretty traditional Lenten fast. I did not enjoy it, really, and I never stopped fantasizing about cheese, but I think it was worthwhile.

          • kara e

            I find the ultra restrictive diets, even short term, leads to binge behavior longer term. The sucky thing is that I’ve been having some major digestive issues and realized I probably need to re-do a food elimination diet for IBS. See how long that messes me up…

      • Essssss

        Lol. I made it a month but immediately went back to my previous way of eating. None of that “slowly phase things in” approach. It was so. much. damned. work. (and meat! so much meat buying!) And i’m someone who likes to cook.

      • MK

        Likewise. I did Whole30 for one month several years ago after the holidays, as a re-set of my system and as an experiment. Physically, I lost a few inches on my hips, I had all this energy, clarity, etc – it definitely was doing something. But it wasn’t sustainable for me as an eating pattern, and I have a history of disordered eating so restricting any foods/food groups is dicey. And the crash after I “went off” it was so bad – felt like I’d been hit by a truck. Almost all of the sugar I eat is in beer and wine, which basically eliminates any cravings for food sweets, funnily enough. It was an interesting experiment, but now I eat as mostly unprocessed food, drink moderately, and enjoy my life.

      • NW

        I love doing a round of Whole30 to kickstart healthy eating, but typically I’m back to the same crappy eating habits within a month

    • Laura C

      I just found a piece of cake in the freezer and almost thawed and ate it then and there, but then I remembered that my favorite bakery is about to be closed for 10 days so it would be better to go there this afternoon and save the cake for later.

      When I was diagnosed celiac, I thought I couldn’t do it. Turns out I could. I am, however, still sure I couldn’t drop sugar. During pregnancy I was almost as nervous for the results of my gestational diabetes screening as I was for the genetic screening or ultrasounds.

      • TeaforTwo

        I did my GD screening on a Friday, and spent that whole weekend ploughing through ice cream, cake and cookies just in case it was my last chance and I got a call on Monday that meant it was game over until the baby came.

        Then, when it came back normal, I ate a piece of cake to celebrate. Me: We’re celebrating! I don’t have diabetes! Husband: Not yet.

    • AmandaBee

      That sounds awesome. I really want an ice cream sandwich tonight, TBH.

    • emilyg25

      Yeah, I don’t do restrictive diets like that. All food is cool by me.

    • Alanna Cartier

      As someone who has celiac disease and has to restrict my diet already in so many ways, I will never do one of those diets that cuts out all the delicious things I have left. My celiac disease involves plenty of cream, butter, sugar, cakes and cookies. And steak with bernaise sauce. Nom nom nom.

  • emmers

    I found out this week that I’m pregnant! Even though this is planned, my husband and I both had a few days of “OMG, what have we done, should we keep it?” which was hard and crazy. We’ve moved into cautious excitement now.

    Today I’m having an additional freakout because my husband has had some throat pain this week, that he’s going to get checked out at the ENT to make sure it’s not throat cancer. I have been on him about getting life insurance for more than a year, so now I’m trying not to be mad at him and trying not to assume that my worst fear of me + baby + no husband + bankruptcy doesn’t come to pass.

    It’s a hell of a week! But I’m going to try to stick with being cautiously optimistic, and a little excited, and happy that I just found a doctor who I think will be good.

    • Ashlah

      Congratulations!! And good luck to you both re: his health scare. Fingers crossed for nothing scary or expensive!

      • emmers

        Thanks, lady. It’s probably nothing. I tend to imagine worst case scenario. And thanks for the congrats :) It’s exciting and weird!

    • Cellistec

      Congrats! And fingers crossed for your husband. There are so many things that can cause throat pain, including silly ones like post-nasal drip and allergies. But life insurance is always a smart investment.

    • BSM

      Congrats!! I’m sure your husband is totally fine :)

      And thank you for reminding me that my husband and I need to get moving on our summer goal of securing life insurance, since we’re planning to start trying in the fall.

      • emmers

        Get thee some life insurance! If/when this health scare clears up, I think my husband will be more of a believer now :). Ain’t no dollar sign on peace of mind, y’all!

    • emmers

      F it!!! Officially deciding to have a good weekend! :). Thanks for all the support, y’all.

  • JC

    I am in the middle of Quiet by Susan Cain, and I am in the throes of an introvert-self-love-fest. This was further enhanced when I recommended it to a colleague, and we then had a half an hour conversation about being highly sensitive. I love my big, complicated, sensitive brain.

    • lady brett

      that’s a great book!

      • JC

        It’s so delicious!

    • Cellistec

      I was thinking about Quiet as I slipped out of a work party yesterday and conspicuously finished up some work while the party continued 10 feet from my desk. I adore my colleagues, it’s just…so much small talk. I cannot.

    • Ashlah

      Added to my list! Thanks for the recommendation!

      • JC

        It’s helping me be much kinder to myself. Coming to terms with my introversion and sensitivity has been really influential in helping me make work/relationship decisions that accurately reflect my strengths and talents for the long term. It’s a game-changer when you’ve grown up thinking “quiet” and “sensitive” were bad qualities!

        • Ashlah

          That sounds like it’ll be right up my alley, and super helpful for my self-esteem. My husband too, probably! Thanks so much!

    • Jess

      I bought that book a year ago and never read it. I think I’m going to have to now!

  • Sara

    Good luck Meg! I’ve gone sugar free in the past and, while I’m not strict about it now, I still avoid it. Once I actively avoided it, the cravings went away. I still grab the occasional doughnut or brownie but now I have the willpower to forgo the office birthday cake or the potluck cookies. Now if only this was true about dairy (which actively makes my stomach hurt and I still can’t seem to give up cheese)

    • Her Lindsayship

      Word on the dairy. My love for ice cream far, faaaaaar outweighs the discomfort I get from eating it. It does keep me from eating tons of it though, so I guess that’s a win.

      • Sara

        My roommate brought home a cheesecake the other day and I told her that I planned to eat mac and cheese that week, so I was saving the stomach ache for that :)

  • s

    I’ve gotta say I’m feeling kind of crushed that AWP did like… nothing for Pride this year. The only thing we got was the Orlando post, which… yeah, is important, but so not the joyful celebration of gays getting married I’ve been hoping for.
    Maybe I’m being extra sensitive because in the midst of planning my own gay girl wedding I’m suffering sooo much hetero-fatigue. Working on designing invitations this week and so many designs are so *straight* – his and her ring, his and her glasses, lipstick and moustache, suit and dress, even flipping *animal* designs one of them’s wearing a bow tie and one a veil. It sucks.

    • Marie

      *solidarity*
      I am also burned out with hetero-fatigue.
      For me, it is the vendors. They just all bring such assumption about what “all weddings” do, and what we will do. Even when it makes no sense. Like no – nice venue dude, we won’t be needing to gender the “bridal” and “groom” suite. There is no groom.

      I’m so burned out that I nearly melted down about displaying our wedding cake (“for all your relatives to take photos of, because you know they’re looking forward to it,”) because that, for me, just symbolized such a heteronormative assumption.

      • toomanybooks

        When I toured my venue, I wasn’t even with my fiancée/wasn’t “out” but the woman giving the tour never once used gendered language (she’d just say “the two people getting married” etc). Though I will say, there are two spaces for people to get ready, and one of them is a conference room looking thing with no mirrors. So we’ll see how it goes.

        I’ve been suffering less hetero-fatigue and more “what the heck do I even want this wedding ceremony to look like” fatigue. You know, since I’m gay so it’s sooooo open what I can do (except get married by/in the church I was baptized in, that’s out). But I don’t know what to do?

        • I love hearing stories about positive, non-heteronormative vendor experiences!

          As for WTF WEDDING fatigue… Not to super product placement, but Meg’s books really helped my partner and me articulate what we wanted our wedding to look and feel like beyond… wedding? People getting wedding-ed?

          I also found it tremendously helpful to start with our hypothetical guest list — we’re a long way from sending out invitations, but having a sense of what was possible and impossible with the number of people we would ideally invite went a long way for narrowing down our options. Dreaming up a small, intimate ceremony in the woods got a really useful reality check when I saw on paper that we were thinking of 100+ people.

    • toomanybooks

      Yup. I wonder if… they didn’t have enough queer submissions…??? My wedding happens just before Pride month next year, maybe I’ll keep in mind that it’s the perfect time to send in a gay wedding. But, yeah, maybe even just an open thread for talking about planning gay weddings etc could’ve been nice. Honestly the comments/commenting community is at least half of what I like about the site!

      • It’s pretty unlikely they didn’t have enough submissions, just…speaking from past experience.

    • Rose

      Pride week was soooo important to me last year particularly, when I was in the midst of gay girl wedding planning. I know exactly what you mean about hetero-fatigue, there’s so much of it (for me the sticking points were cake toppers, which we didn’t even want but managed to upset me anyway, and the “Mr” and “Mrs” signs for like chairs and stuff, which just started driving me up the wall). I’m missing it this year too. And there aren’t really a lot of good queer wedding spaces online.

      • s

        OH MY GOD THE MR. AND MRS. SIGNS. Like I don’t even want signs, but the complete saturation of the Mr. and Mrs. signs EVERRRYYWHERE and my corresponding “well if we DID want signs like… what would that be, how would that work, it’d probably look really dumb??” mental argument is just… ugh.

        I think for cake toppers we’re going to just use figures of our cats and not even shop for options. so exhausting.

        • Rose

          Right? Those signs! It’s like, all of that stuff made me want to make versions of it that WERE SO EXPLICITLY GAY just because it was so annoying, but I didn’t even want it! Nor did I want to be worrying about it!

          I think figures of your cats sound adorable for your cake! We just stuck some flowers on top of ours. I was not up for figuring out cake toppers.

        • LucyPirates

          We are having gold sprayed velociraptors on a layered stack of cheese because = AWESOME.

          • Pictures are required of this magnificent dinosaur cheese situation when it happens, please.

    • Definitely feeling the absence of any Pride content as well. I’m a queer woman recovering from an eating disorder, and APW this month and especially today’s Happy Hour just feels… blegh.

      Discussions about baby weight and refined sugar feel so uncomfortable and frankly hetero to me (not to say that no queer folks don’t care about baby weight or think certain foods are poison)… The combination of those things in a space celebrating weddings makes me think of GOOP, who, in my mind, is the straightest, whitest, heteronormative-ist person in existence and to dedicate space to that instead of talking about Pride feels like a let down.

      • Katherine

        Feeling this, been there. Solidarity and best of luck in recovery.

    • e

      *solidarity* I don’t have the joyful story that we need, but Imma talk about my Pride this year anyway – because I sometimes pass for straight, I’ve finally been better about coming out over and and over. I managed to work in to a conversation at my job that I’m pansexual and polyamorous. I then had to explain both of those words and it resulted in a really nice conversation that touched on how gender isn’t binary for everyone. I finally hung a rainbow flag in my window of my first-floor apartment in my LGBTQIA-friendly city but I still question that decision. But I also have to believe that love wins.

      • s

        that’s awesome. I’m glad you got to have a conversation and it turned out well!!

      • Rose

        I’m moderately obviously queer (I mean, nobody thinks I’m gay until I mention my wife, but that does mean that people who know me know), but it’s something that my sister’s been dealing with. It’s hard when people make assumptions and there’s no easier way to dispel them than to have those kind of difficult conversations. I think it’s a lot easier to mention a relationship than an identity, personally, and that can be hard enough. Anyway, what that is to say is yay for managing to have that conversation! And I’m glad it went well! I think that is the kind of Pride story we want to hear.

    • Ooooh! We didn’t highlight it (though our Instagram had an ton of rah rah pride) BUT we did actually have a few queer voices this month. Here’s a full list!

      http://apracticalwedding.com/2016/06/georgetown-dc-wedding/
      http://apracticalwedding.com/2016/06/crate-and-barrel-registry-live-event/
      http://apracticalwedding.com/2016/06/feminist-wedding-comic/ (granted, it’s a hetero *seeming* wedding but the bride is bisexual!)
      http://apracticalwedding.com/2016/06/sexless-marriage/
      http://apracticalwedding.com/2016/06/registry-living-room-essentials/

      • s

        Loved loved love the DC wedding. So stylish and loving and great, an awesome extension of the couple and loved seeing Their People in the photos and the community and ahhh it was great.
        Was hoping for more of that as opposed to …discussion? …an article that is otherwise totally universal i.e. about living room furniture just because it’s written by a queer person? A cis lady marrying a cis man, seriously??? I get she’s bi but when the complaint from several people is not enough visibly queer content for a holiday that’s about visibly being queer after our community was attacked for being so visible, and the offer is “well it definitely *looks* totally straight like all these other weddings you’re so burned out on but she’s bi so it counts….”
        Should have just crossposted whatever you were doing on instagram :(

  • InTheBurbs

    Anyone else ever had wedding dreams for someone else? I’m the matron of honor for my sister – and last night I had my third wedding dream about HER wedding….

    • KPM

      Weirdly, my sister was married a month ago (I was matron of honor) and I just had my first dream about her wedding. In the dream, there were lots of stressful bits. In real life, not so much.

    • Keri

      When we were thinking about what to do for our invitations, I had a dream that I was invited to two weddings on the same day, in different locations, for people who in real life are just Facebook friends from college and whose wedding pics I had seen online. In the dream, I couldn’t remember which one I had RSVP’ed to and was panicking like, “WHY DON’T YOU GET AN ORDER CONFIRMATION WHEN YOU RSVP LIKE WHEN YOU ORDER SOMETHING ONLINE?”
      Couldn’t possibly have been related to wedding stress.

  • Cellistec

    We’re going to Vancouver, BC for vacation next week! Yay! Any recommendations for dog-friendly things to do? We can’t leave our rescue terrier in our Airbnb so it’ll be all dog, all the time. Things already on the list:
    -Renting bikes (will rental shops let us put our dog in their kid trailers?)
    -Stanley Park
    -Capilano Suspension Bridge
    -Granville Island
    -Picnics on the seawall

    • anonpsu

      I’ve been to Vancouver and this is everything I’d do. I’d look up some dog-friendly restaurants before you get there. Make sure you watch the sunset from the beach :)

    • the cupboard under the stairs

      I think the UBC campus is really pretty, and on that promontory there are a few beautiful trails down to the beach. I bet a dog would love it!

    • gonzalesbeach

      I’m across the pond on an island…. lynn canyon suspension bridge is a free alternative to capilano
      outdoor movie at Stanley park on tuesdays
      off leash dog parks: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/dog-off-leash-areas.aspx

      • Cellistec

        We went to a couple of the dog parks and they were so fun! Hadden beach especially…our dog had never been to a sand beach before.

  • Green

    I love sugar and it always drops me into a bit of a funk- like flat out depression the day following consumption. I’ve been trying to be more attentive to it because feeling low is so crummy. My spouse is starting to notice these effects too, or at least sees them in me. So I try to minimize and the cravings lessen, but it’s tough!

  • Juliet

    HALP! I’m in between sizes I own and need a new bathing suit by, uh, tomorrow. Oops. I tried to find something on my lunch break with no luck- nothing fits my torso AND my boobs. Has anyone with larger boobs been able to find a one piece at a chain store that fits their body? Idon’t want to spend my Friday evening driving all over town.

    • InTheBurbs

      Do you have a Sears near you? They have Lands End in their stores and that is my go-to swim suit brand

      • Juliet

        YES! This is a good idea. Thank you!

      • Marie

        Lands End suits have underwires – they are amazing, and so so durable.

    • Keri

      I feel like I’ve gone to Kohl’s in a bathing suit emergency? I usually get them at Marshalls or TJ Maxx though, but it might be a little late in the season to have good luck there.

      • Juliet

        Yeah, I tried Marshalls at lunch and the selection was okay but nothing fit right. It drives me crazy that suit designers dont widen the straps of bathing suits and bras as they size up. GRAVITY means that larger boobs need more support! I want to give a lecture on this at a fashion conference.

    • Emily

      Athleta is expensive, but they have nice bathing suits and they have a variety of styles that you can mix and match.

    • Amy March

      In a similar emergency I went bikini + rash guard, and then left the rash guard shirt on all day.

    • CP2011

      I generally have better luck with two piece tankinis rather than a one piece. Have you tried those? Also, a swim shirt/rash guard over a sports bra with bathing suit bottoms is a very acceptable option.

    • CommaChick

      I can’t vouch for its one-pieces, but I highly recommend Walmart’s two-piece swimsuits. Inexpensive, cute but simple and more durable than some of the pricey swimsuits I’ve bought.

  • lady brett

    one week to the baby’s due date (it’s so surreal, since we aren’t experiencing the pregnancy). holy shit.

    • Kalë

      Baby!!!! Mazel tov!

  • Eenie

    WE MAILED OUR THANK YOU NOTES! (At just past the two month mark!)

    My husband hated the process, and I explained invitations would have been almost as bad if we hadn’t done email. We had to contact 10 people who have moved in the past six months for addresses (we only invited 100!).

    • Shawna

      Congrats!! We’re saving thank you cards til we get back from honeymoon (we leave next Thursday are are gone for 3 weeks!) since most of our registry was honeymoon fund and we’re getting Flytographer photos done in Rome (such a great present from my sister and MOH). We figure a card with one of those photos either printed or on the card will be especially fun. I’m “looking forward” to divvying up the work with husband (he’s good about cards, but has very different ideas about what to write in them than I do. Just gotta embrace it I guess).

      • Eenie

        My husband wrote the best fucking thank you notes I’ve ever seen. He also spent four times as long on them. I stopped him after number two (when the “hand cramps” set in) and showed him the ones I wrote. He continued to write very detailed ones anyways. He is looking forward to not having to do it again. (Also, one of my relatives asked my mom if us “youngins” were too good to write thank you notes anymore! I said no, husband is finishing his half and we’re sending them all together so we can expedite the labeling process. Also etiquette gives us three months!)

  • Emily

    I started a blog! It’s about living with chronic illness (ulcerative colitis specifically), and even if no one ends up reading it, writing about it has been therapeutic for me. http://www.hopeinflamed.com/

    I’ve tried the specific carbohydrate diet for ulcerative colitis (similar to Paleo or Whole30), and I definitely went through some kind of withdrawal giving up carbs. Ultimately it was too hard to stick to and didn’t seem to help my symptoms much. I am trying to limit processed foods, but it’s so hard!

    • Jessica

      The first 2 months of giving up grains for me brought on some intense dreams about eating cookies, being in bakeries, and stacks on stacks on stacks of pancakes.

      Now I don’t have them anymore. You can get used to almost anything diet-related.

    • Eenie

      Paleo and Whole30 are super restrictive. I modify to allow dairy because it doesn’t bother me and I’m not a hawk with sugar. But the grains and legumes bother me so much so I avoid those almost 100%. I would find eating this way really hard if you don’t see a difference in your health/how you feel.

    • raccooncity

      Was it similar to FODMAP? I’ve been having a had time trying that.

      • Emily

        I’m not sure about FODMAP. I thought about trying that but it seemed hard to remember what’s allowed and not allowed.

    • EF

      ohhh IBD here too. I am so gonna follow your blog!

      • Emily

        Yay! Glad to see someone else with IBD here (except not glad because it’s not a fun disease :) ).

  • emmers

    Re: all the carbz. I’ve reduced carbs. I find it helps to have things that make me full, things like cheese (string cheese! mini baby bel cheese!), and greek yogurt. If I want a better than bad sweet, sometimes I’ll do coffee flavored greek yogurt, which is delicious.

    • Jessica

      I’ve given up on buying flavored yogurt, but coffee flavored makes me want to buy it again.

      • emmers

        I love Trader Joe’s coffee yogurt (it’s not greek), and Dannon coffee greek yogurt. I kinda view them both as dessert, since they’re too tasty to be healthy. But still, probably healthier than icecream.

    • LadyMe

      Coffee greek yogurt is my fav. I will eat it for breakfast everyday of the week if I buy enough.

    • CMT

      I read that as “coffee flavored with greek yogurt” and was very confused about how putting yogurt into your coffee could be delicious.

      • Cellistec

        I had yogurt coffee in Vietnam and it was strangely good. It’s a thing there. Iced, though, not hot.

  • I was under the impression that I “never” ate sugar, until I got pregnant, stopped drinking, and realized that I had no craving for sweets or starches because I had been getting all my sugar from prosecco. Which really is a great place to get all your sugar.

    • Jessica

      Yesssss.

    • Cellistec

      You had been getting all your sugar from prosecco? Frankly, I’m impressed.

      • I was once a bodybuilder? So I gave up sweets in like 1998. OR SO I THOUGHT. Because of the prosecco.

        • Cellistec

          Now I’m double impressed!

    • Laura C

      This happened to my husband when he was studying for the LSAT! He stopped drinking alcohol…and started drinking like four ginger beers a night.

      • tr

        He stopped drinking while studying for the LSAT?!?!?! How?!?!?!
        I swear, the only thing that made me drink more than the law school admissions process was law school itself!

    • CP2011

      It makes me so happy to see you commenting here. I think you are awesome!!

    • Megera

      Read comment, read follow-up, checked name. HOLY COW IT’S BULLISH JEN.

  • Work is letting us out early, so my fiance and I are going to get our marriage license! I am very excited and also a little sad since this is the beginning of my name hyphenation process…I’m sad about it and it has been a long process that went around in circles and we’re compromising. But this is the first time that it will be really real, you know?

    We’re also picking up our rings later too! So more yay! 35 days out, things are getting a little hectic over here, but also exciting. Have a happy long weekend everyone!

    • emmers

      It’s OK to be sad about that. Here’s a toast to your name!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I’m interested to hear how it goes for you! I’m really struggling with what to do about my name. It’s been my name for my whole life, but I also want to be a cohesive family unit, so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. My guy says our future kids can have my last name, but that doesn’t fix the cohesive part with all of us.

      YAY for your license!!!

      • NM

        I don’t know if this is cohesive enough for you, but we didn’t change our names and our kids are hyphenated, so they have part of both of our names. Tough on the kids, I know, as I was given a double last name at birth. But that was the only compromise that felt right to both of us.

        • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

          That’s definitely at the top of the list right now. I appreciate the advice!!

          • NM

            It’s tough to figure out! Best of luck.

        • emilyg25

          Same! Our cohesion comes from other factors, not our names. :)

      • Angela

        This may not work for you, but my partner and I are merging our names together to create a new name i.e. the first syllable of his surname and the last syllable of my name. Another woman at my work is doing the same.

      • Kadee

        We had a lot of trouble with this too. I really wanted to have a family name, and didn’t want to change mine to his on principle, and really wanted a combo of our last names. He likes the idea of combining names, but is really strongly tied to his last name for strong personal reasons (which he is able to explain, not because he’d never thought about it) and we could not find a combo that he remotely liked enough to consider as a valid option to consider changing his name to. We both feel strongly that we don’t want to hyphenate so we finally decided to compromise and just keep our “maiden” names. If we have kids, then we can revisit it and see if we want to change one or both later.

  • Sophie

    So…..what was your response rate? How frustrating was the process for you?

    • Keri

      We actually had a pretty solid response rate, but only sent out about 55 invitations to maybe ~95 people. A lot of the folks who didn’t reply by the deadline were the iffy people anyway – either far flung or not super closer friends anyway. We had to send out maybe… 8-10 messages to get a response from people/couple’s. One or two did not respond to that, which I’m like, okay, rude, but also I don’t really care if you come at this point, so whatever.

      • Sophie

        Thanks for the insight. I’m trying to figure out how much I should chase people. I think I might try emailing them directly twice and then give up.

        • Eenie

          Split the list with someone (your partner?) and text/email/call. No response, assume a no.

        • Essssss

          If they are your parent’s family and you can farm the task out to them, its a good delegation step.

          • Sophie

            Yeah, I’m going to have my parents talk to people this weekend. I’m not going home for the 4th, but a lot of my extended family will be there. Having read APW for some time now, I’m fanatic about rsvping and I was hoping that my family/friends were the more conscientious type. We probably have a 60% response at the deadline I had set. Hopefully, my parents will find out more this weekend. And we’re lucky, we don’t need super firm numbers. It’s a casual reception with a buffet.

          • MK

            Our deadline is tomorrow and we have maybe 50%. I’m going to give it a week for people who will be mailing it, like, tomorrow, especially with the holiday weekend in the U.S. But as someone who LOVES mail and, y’know, likes to follow directions for an event I’ve been invited to that people are working very hard to plan… it’s hard to fathom that we have that many people who still haven’t checked a box and put it in a stamped envelope. W.T.F. I’m expecting that my fiance’s friends who haven’t RSVPed are mostly coming and are just not on top of mailing things, while my friends are putting off finalizing that they can’t make it (it’s a semi-destination wedding for most guests, so we expected a relatively low acceptance rate.)

    • We invited 125 total – maybe 70 actual invitations went out. We ended up with 85 attending. 90% of our guests had to travel for the wedding so I was happy with that level of turnout, though I did have a breakdown one day when several “no” responses came in the same day.

      • Sophie

        This helps a lot! I had read somewhere to expect 70-80% of the guest list to rsvp yes. (And truthfully, since we had sent out ~200 invitations, I was a little intimated by the idea of hosting a gathering for 300+ people.) But the article also said that it depended on whether or not most people were local and some other factors. A significant portion of our guest list is out of state. And since I’m in Minnesota too, it’s not surprising that a lot of the in-state people have plans. Since Minnesota’s summers are so short, weekends tend to get booked quickly. I just wish people would tell me a straight yes or no. Thankfully, we’ve had enough yeses so that it will feel like a party whether or not the remaining decide to come. =)

    • emilyg25

      We had an 85% response rate and everyone responded within a few days of the deadline. Pretty much everyone had to travel at least an hour to attend.

    • Sparkles

      We invited about 110 people, and could only fit 100 people at our venue. We had 90 people say they could come and we filled out the list with 10 people we wanted to invite in the first round, but were worried about going over the number. I think most of those 10 said yes. So total 100 people.

  • Jess

    Wedding Stuff We Have Done This Week:
    – Contacted dessert vendors to set up a dessert table
    – Approved the final proof for invitations
    – Gotten dates for a meeting with our celebrant to start our ceremony (SHE e-mailed ME to start this! Best ever!)
    – Decided on the wine we want to serve during dinner
    – Confirmed that the bridesmaid dress color I picked out *does* look amazing on everybody

    I had a bit of a sad post written up, realized I probably needed to just go find a therapist and talk through my Sads and maybe not ask internet people to bring me back my lost hope.

    So, wedding high five worthy stuff you’ve got going on?

    • E.

      Sounds like a very productive week! We’re still at the beginning stages, but we have it narrowed down to two venues and two photographers, and are currently agonizing over both choices haha

      • Jess

        Oooh Narrowing stuff down! It’s so hard, because even when you’ve got two very different options, you’re like, “I love them both!”

        We went with whoever seemed most prepared and capable of helping us on the actual day, but your preferences may vary!

        • E.

          Yeah! I wrote venues above, but with photographers we have one who we like a lot and is $700 cheaper, and one who we LOVE who worked out a deal to be at the very top of our budget (we had emailed her very sadly to say she was out of budget).

          • Jess

            Oh man, budget stuff is so hard. We lucked out that the photographer we liked best was also the most budget friendly.

          • LadyMe

            Our wedding is happening at the end of October. Our reception is at a local park. It has an indoor space that will fit 95 people, but we’re hoping for lawn games and invited 110 people. (Darn parents who add people after we had “finalized” the guest list with them!) We are agonizing if we should stretch the budget enough for a tent rental.

          • Jess

            Lawn games! I love park weddings!

          • E.

            That is lucky!

    • Angela

      It’s Saturday morning here in New Zealand and in 2 hours I will be trying on my dress which arrived a week or so ago and ordering bridesmaids dresses! Squee! We also finished our premarriage course this week and met with our pastor to go over the ceremony. Fiancé is designing the invites and almost has them finished. It’s been really nice to focus on the ceremony and our marriage not just how things will look.

      • Jess

        Hooray for dresses! Hooray for self-designed invites!

        I’m most excited about the ceremony – it’s the most meaningful for me.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      My mom is altering my Modcloth dress with some gorgeous sparkly lace, and it looks dreamy- I tried it on this week! And we got the proof for the wedding invite my friend designed for us! I had a moment where I looked at the addresses that people have sent us via a Google form and realized that so many people we love are going to come be with us as we get married, and I got all choked up at work.

      • toomanybooks

        I LOVE sparkly lace!!

  • lamarsh

    Long time lurker, first time commenter — My fiance and I are taking a quick and much needed weekend vacation to Richmond, VA this weekend. Any recommendations? I am particularly interested in eating all the food.

    • emmers

      Ooh, love visits to Richmond! We had fun with brunch at Lulu’s (I loved the french toast, but they also make some awesome red velvet chicken & waffles!)– if you’re going, def reserve on OpenTable, and I think there’s a farmer’s market nearby. . The fat dragon was great for apps and tons of beers. There are also lots of great breweries, like Ardent (near the fat dragon!), Isley (their Choosy Mother beer is peanut butter chocolate and soo yummy), and Hardywood, which had a lot of fun free events going on while we were there (like free concerts, that kind of thing).

      • Kalë

        PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BEER??????????

        • emmers

          Sooo yummy, right??

          • Kalë

            need to get my hands on this, stat!

      • emmers

        Also, just remembered there’s a cuban restaurant we really liked called Kuba Kuba. Great sandwiches!

      • lamarsh

        Oh wow, so many good options! There is definitely PB chocolate beer in my future. The Fat Dragon and Lulu’s sound amazing too. Thank you!

        • emmers

          And I think fat dragon had the Choosy Mother beer when we went, in case you want to consolidate!

    • KPM

      AH! I used to live there and miss it! The food is so so good, so there are many good options. The James River farmers market is great and you can taste wine/ eat great food there. Kuba Kuba is also really good. Black Sheep has amazing sandwiches and desserts and Mamma Zu’s is fantastic Italian (or Edo’s Squid, same owners) Lamplighter for coffee (also breakfast/lunch.) For southern food, Comfort or Heritage. Grab a fancy drink and apps at the Jefferson Hotel. And the VMFA is a great (free!) art museum for when you are between meals :)

      • lamarsh

        Ooh, our AirBnb is right by Lamplighter – yay! And the VMFA is definitely on the list – I love a good museum.

      • emmers

        Oh yes, Edo’s Squid– amazzzzing pasta, and such a hole in the wall!

    • SLG

      The Dutch! Good food and historic walkable neighborhood. After dinner you can walk to a nearby park with a view of the river.

  • BSM

    Mean Girls, always and forever.

    Also, this thread is making me hungry.

  • ZLMT

    I read the book Always Hungry when I was looking to lose some baby weight, and found it really helpful. It’s got recipes (and a meal plan, depending on how committed you’re feeling). The basic idea is more protein and fat, less sugar and carbs. A certain amount of chocolate is allowed per day (over 70% cocoa), and I agree with someone below that fruit with unsweetened whipped cream is delicious.

    • Eenie

      When you whip your own cream you can put whatever you want in it: cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin spice, etc.

  • nosio

    So, in the past month, we’ve decided to nix our local CA venue and go back to the original plan: getting married in my hometown. Our venue was gorgeous, and I would have been honored by the presence of any of our family and friends who could attend, but with the prospect of so many people not being able to make it, and the financial burden placed on those who would be attending…it just stopped being something I was excited about? And I was fine with that! I was fine with not being excited about my wedding. After we paid our deposit I had a minor freakout and immediately regretted it (documented in a previous HH post), but after a couple days I calmed down, chalked it up to nerves about the boatload of money we just paid, and this wave of acceptance washed over me (in retrospect seems more like apathy). I was like, “Huh, guess I’m just a super chill bride after all? Because I feel zero emotion about these plans now!” Thankfully, after a couple months, my partner pointed out that was a slightly depressing and weird attitude, so we had the umpteenth conversation about wedding plans, and he suggested changing it back to Chicago. I laughed and was basically like, LOL sure, but I’m not doing any more research into fancy venues because that shit is EXHAUSTING. And then he laughed and was like, “Well we can always have the reception at the VFW hall your parents used.” And I laughed too, and then we both stopped laughing and got on the internet and looked up the cost of renting said VFW hall, and OH MY GOD IT IS LITERALLY 6% OF WHAT WE PAID FOR OUR VENUE IN CALIFORNIA.

    So, yeah! After a few phone calls and apologetic emails to our venue, we’re out of our contract, with nearly all of our deposit back. Went from having a super elegant, rustic spot in a motherfuckin canyon with a locally sourced fancypants caterer and craft beers and cocktails…to planning a ceremony in my parents’ backyard, under a tree my mom planted when I was a kid, followed by a reception in a super 70’s, faux-wood paneled VFW hall. We have the option of getting kegs of MGD or Miller Lite. The only decor is a disco ball (we’re allowed to bring flowers, but we can’t hang anything on the walls or ceiling). But everyone we know and love will be there (and we’re getting one of our fave restaurants to cater), and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the most beautiful day of my life.

    • Amy March

      It sounds lovely!

    • emmers

      I love this story!!! You are going to rock the shit out of the VFW!!! And you have a disco ball! That sounds soooo excellent.

    • BSM

      Sounds amazing!!

    • CMT

      I love this!

    • Olive

      This sounds so much like the VFW we went to when I was a kid! I’m sure you’ll be able to put a classy spin on the hall & it will be awesome! I grew up on the south side of Chicago, it’ll always be home :)

      • nosio

        I’m from the south side, too! *fistbump*

        • Olive

          *fistbump* Is your VFW near 63rd & Harlem? That would be too perfect.

          • nosio

            97th & Kedzie. Still close!

          • Olive

            So close!!!!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Congrats on what sounds like a wonderful decision! And thanks for sharing your story – I’m still in the venue search stage and in my darker moments I’m like ‘shit, book anything, we don’t care that much’. But I know we do.

    • Keri

      That sounds so lovely and I am so happy for you guys/your decision making!

    • KPM

      It wasn’t held *at* the VFW but I remember going with a friend’s mom to the VFW to get booze the day of her wedding because everyone drank too much of the reception booze at the rehearsal dinner and we had to restock. It was Sunday in South Carolina so there was no where to buy alcohol and I’m pretty sure they were just going to bill her later to get around it.

      That said, it’s going to be so wonderful to have all those people who mean so much to you there and in such a meaningful place.

    • Sparkles

      We had our reception in a church basement that was literally used as a soup kitchen the day before and the day after the wedding. It was beautiful and laid back and everybody had so much fun! My pro tip- Christmas lights. Beg, borrow and steal Christmas lights and trick out the wood panelling. It will make it look magical. Also, if you can afford it, splurge on the chair covers. They will also class up the VFW hall vibe. Make it VFW hall on fancy day.

    • Super excited for your disco ball situation! This sounds like such an amazing series of events, congrats on getting it figured out!

    • kara e

      It’s all about the people! You are going to have an amazing celebration! What a great decision. Joy! And if you really want to splurge, rent trees with christmas lights.

  • Essssss

    Sad news is apparently your brain reacts the same way to “natural” (ie dried fruit) and “unnatural” (ie high fructose corn syrup) the same way, Does different things with your body but your brain keeps craving sugar and getting it even if you’re switching to a different type of sugar.

    I’m more of an everything in moderation (including moderation) girl these days, but I did do a Whole 30 a while back and had good success once the carb flu was done. Things that help me when I’m trying to cut down on the sugar are making sure that I feel full and have other alternative snacks around. This means eating lots of healthy fat like avocados and almonds and always carrying snacks and boiling like a dozen eggs each week to have on hand in order to stay full. The other thing is just creating other rituals and things that feel special that aren’t alcohol and dessert. Fancy tea. La Croix sparkling water. Frozen berries. Coconut milk. Good luck!

    • Eenie

      Target has a 10% off their new La Croix waters in the cartwheel app right now!

    • sage

      I love the new La Croix Curate waters! That is my dessert most nights :)

      • Essssss

        So good! We actually upgraded to a Soda Stream machine recently and use it all the time (but I still drink LaCroix at work!). I was starting to feel bad about my aluminum waste.

        • CMT

          I go through so much of the store brand La Croix, and I have also been feeling really bad about all the aluminum. I keep meaning to get a Soda Stream. Is it easy? One of the things I like about the cans is how easy it is to grab a couple out of the fridge and bring em to work with me.

          • Essssss

            Yeah, I still keep La Croix at work, but the soda stream is super easy. The set up is quick and it comes with a bottle you can keep in the fridge. When the cartridge of CO2 is empty you take it to Target and trade it in at customer service.

  • LittleOwl

    It’s our 6 monthiversary! I was surprised how much different marriage feels than being engaged. I think we’ve learned to have more productive discussions/disagreements, and we’ve settled into a happy home life. We’ve been through a couple intense health and family events and we made it through. Would love any advice from my APWers as we live our newlywed life!

    • Jess

      Congrats!

    • Shawna

      Congrats! I found that even a month into marriage we finally had our most calm and productive conversation about finances. We didn’t do as much premarital counseling as we’d wanted to because life was throwing so much at us there was only so much we could handle at the time (on top of planning a wedding), but it’s nice to know that the work never stops and you can keep working through it as long as that’s what you’ve both decided you’re up for doing!

  • E.

    Venue advice needed- We’re down to two options. One of them is an inn (which is doing the catering regardless) that does some weddings, but we’d still need to rent tables, chairs, tent, etc. The other option is a family friend’s property that is seriously gorgeous and they’re really into the idea. Cost is pretty similar because we have to rent mostly the same things for each venue, but the friends have never hosted a wedding before (they did an event with 75 people, we have 150). Help?

    • Violet

      How much day-of coordinating do you feel like doing? Chances are the inn has someone there to make things go smoothly; your family friends won’t.

      • E.

        We’re going to hire someone regardless, but yeah that’s what we’re down to. They have more experience doing weddings because they’ve done them. They’ll know problems to anticipate, etc. The inn is a little dingy, and it’s definitely not an all inclusive venue. And the friends’ property is right on the water, but would be more work. I forgot to mention: we’re planning this from across the country so my moms have been taking on the bulk of on the ground work (and they want the property)

        • Violet

          Hmmm, if they’re going to be taking on lots of the ground work, then maybe defer to them if you don’t have a strong preference?

        • Amy March

          Hands down people who are on the ground doing the work win! And if the inn is also an option that doesn’t require porta potties even better. They’re just horrible.

          • E.

            Especially if they’re choosing the one that would be more work for them!

    • Angela

      My thoughts go to the parking situation and bathroom facilities at each place. 150 guests could entail 60+ cars and you may need to look at portaloos also.

      • E.

        yeah that is one of the few differences- we need porta potties at the property, but not at the inn. Parking is fine at either location.

        • Violet

          Oh, and a generator, probably…

          • E.

            probably, we need to look at what we would be plugging in to see if they could handle it, but I’m guessing (and budgeting for) needing one

          • Violet

            My sister’s wedding in her in-laws’ backyard required one, because the party went into the night and lighting guy said he’d need one. But if it’s going to end while it’s still light out, maybe not? But yeah, good thing you’re costing out those differentials.

    • Jess

      I would go with the inn – the con you list (renting stuff) probably will have to happen at the property too, but you would also have to do more coordinating + hire staff?

      If you’re into a more DIY/DIT situation, and you and your team are up for lots of last minute heavy lifting, the family friend option would be lovely!

    • E.

      Update: My mom JUST called me raving about a third venue that is really beautiful, right on the water, and has been doing 1-2 weddings/year for the past three years! Of course, she lost service before she could tell me any more details. But this sounds like a combination of the things we liked about each of the other venues!

      • Violet

        Woah, deus ex machina, ftw!

        • E.

          Apparently the farm is also run by the woman who used to work in the cafeteria when I was in school and she said to tell me I’m too little to get married haha. Tiny hometown FTW

  • Shawna

    Our wedding photos came back yesterday and they are making me smile so much my face hurts. I didn’t really feel like that on the day (parts of the weekend, yes) so it’s nice. I have such awesome and beautiful family and friends!! And Emily Merrill is the BEST photographer and human (APW sponsor). Nice to have a new friend as well as a great photographer. We went perfume “tasting” last week and I think I have a new favorite scent husband is planning to get me for my birthday (or Christmas or both – it’s a bit pricy whoops).

    We’re off on honeymoon next week so the party’s not over yet! Rome, Lake Como, driving around Burgundy wine country (based in Chagny, near Beaune), a day at Paris Disneyland because I’m obsessed, then London for my conference and a couple of relaxed days in my favorite city. I took Italian in college and he speaks fluent French so it’s gonna be fab. A mixture of places we’ve been and loved, places we’ve always wanted to go, and none we have visited together (yet). I can’t wait!!!

  • Libby

    Ah! Guys I had an amazing interview yesterday for a position I feel GREAT about – send so many good vibes!!!!

  • Eh

    This week was a big week for financial things. We started budgeting for when my husband goes back to work and our daughter goes to daycare. We also decided to start a savings account for car maintenance. We had a hard discussion about my husband buying things to ‘celebrate’, especially with our budget so tight right now with him on parental leave (and then going forward,with paying for daycare). And then I got information about my pension. My employer is moving from one pension (closing that one) to another. I am super happy with the move because the new pension is more stable than the old one. We also have the option to buy back the time we contributed to the old pension. Anyways, I got notice this week that the amount of money I have in the old pension will cover the buy back amount, plus I get some cash back because I over paid.

    We are planning on meeting with our financial planner soon, but I was wondering how much people should have in their emergency fund? We cleared it out when we bought out house 2.5 years ago and we are working on building it back but we want to start moving some money into other things (e.g., maybe paying off my husband’s student loan, renovations on our house).

    • LadyMe

      The advice I read generally says aim for 3-6 months salary in an emergency fund. Enough to cover you for a decent period of time should something happen.

      • Eh

        We are probably at three months worth right now. We were probably at six months worth when we bought our house.

      • Eenie

        Or 3-6 months of your expenses. If you’re paying down debt, what is the minimum you’d need to cover common home repairs? (AC, roof, boiler, etc.) For example, we have $15k as our emergency fund since we spend less than $5k/month and that will cover major repairs.

        • Eh

          Also a good point. In an emergency I would stop contributing to retirement savings and my emergency fund.

    • Amy March

      My goal (not there yet) is eight months. I based it on how long I would expect it to take to find a comparable job.

      • Eh

        That’s a good point too. We still plan to contribute to the fund (and I am not suggesting we take money out of it), but we could use money we put in it every month in other areas. We could pay off my husband’s student loan in a couple months instead of another year if we contributed less to the emergency fund. That would free up what we pay on his loan every month sooner. With the market tanking I am thinking it might be better to pay off the loan then lose money in mutual funds.

        • Amy March

          Oh I have none of my emergency fund money in mutual funds. My intention for it is to have it readily available as cash, and I’m not comfortable with that level of risk, so yes a different calculus for sure.

          • Eenie

            Highly recommend putting it in a separate account with a debit card to withdraw if during this emergency your credit cards are cancelled/stolen. I lock the card in my safe.

          • Eh

            I have a mini emergency fund that I can access (using my debit card) that is usually enough to cover half of our monthly bills (since in that time I could get the money out of my mutual funds). I don’t like having my emergency fund in mutual funds. It is what my financial planner has recommended. The emergency fund is supposed to be in lower risk mutual funds, but when the market does crappy it still loses money.

          • Essssss

            In my mind, emergency funds should be liquid, i.e. immediately accessible and as much as you think is there. Stocks (even index funds) are for long term growth to even out variability and risk in the market (retirement). I do have some emergency funds in CDs, which can make more interest than a savings account. There can be a small penalty for early withdrawal from a CD if the emergency does happen, but since the likelihood is low and the penalty small, this for me is a good compromise between risk exposure on the market and just sitting in a 0.1% savings account. My financial advisor is at Edward Jones and they can do the CDs.

          • Not Sarah

            That’s fair on the CDs. The super liquid part of my emergency fund has been at Ally (1%), ING Direct (~1%), and now at Alliant Credit Union (also 1%). CDs don’t return enough more than that for me to consider them over the risk of wanting to break them.

          • Eh

            Is it weird that I am actually concerned about having that much money as liquid? I know someone else suggested having an account that is accessible from a separate debit card that is locked away. It still scares me.

          • Not Sarah

            Not weird at all. Finances are so much about psychology and if your gut says that’s what you want, then do that. My compromise was to find a credit union that had a free checking account I like and also has a 1% savings account, which satisfies both sides.

          • Eh

            Between the two of us we already have accounts at four banks (I wish we had fewer, luckily only one charges fees – and that’s my husband’s main account). The credit union we have our mortgage with might be an option though since it’s our less accessible account (read: we don’t use it since we have accounts at three other banks). My husband would have access in case of an emergency but he would not see it when he logged into his online banking.

          • Ashlah

            We have our savings at Ally. It’s linked to our bank account, so we can get funds when we need them, but the balances aren’t visible at our main bank account and it takes 4-6 days to receive the funds, so it’s not easy access for impulse purchases. Your credit union seems like a good solution too.

          • Eh

            I don’t think that’s an option with any of our banks but I will look into that. Ally is not available in Canada anymore.

          • Not Sarah

            What about Tangerine? They’re the new brand of what was ING Direct in Canada. They are even offering 2.4% on your savings for six months before it reverts back to 0.8%: https://www.tangerine.ca/en/saving/savings-accounts

          • Eh

            That is where we have our day-to-day joint account. So unless we could make it so it doesn’t show up when we logon, he would easily be able to see the money. The interest rate at the credit union is just a little less than that (0.77%)

          • Not Sarah

            Ah I vote for the credit union then :)

          • Essssss

            What’s the worry? That it will get spent on something else? CDs have that barrier of a penalty if you withdraw early… Separate accounts or even separate banks could help.

          • Eh

            Obviously my husband needs access to the money but he has a history of spending money he has access too. Having it all in a bank account that he has access to makes me nervous. We are working on this.

            I had never heard of CDs, we have a different term in Canada. That might be an option but I have to look into it a bit more.

          • Can’t resist commenting (and I work as a financial planner) – in the short run (<5 years), investing in equities can/will be volatile. Absolutely don't keep your emergency fund invested in stocks. I would suggest a high-yield savings account or at the very least some highly liquid short-term bonds. As far as how much to have, that depends so much on your needs + job stability. My husband and I both feel our jobs are pretty stable, plus we could definitely live off just one of our salaries if we had to, so we have barely any emergency fund savings. About 4K in a high-yield savings account, and another 4K in our checking account as a buffer at the start of every month. This comes to about 2 months of living expenses for us, and we're comfortable with doing this and investing a hefty chunk into the market every month instead of keeping it liquid.

          • Eh

            Thanks for the information! I have a fairly stable job and we could live off my income if we had too (my husband makes a lot less than me, and his job is stable but he also doesn’t want to stay their long term), so 3 months is probably sufficient for us. We are going to meet with a financial planner to get a second opinion about where we have things.

          • lamarsh

            I just moved my emergency fund out of low risk funds and into an Ally Savings account. I had heard all the same advice but I got too nervous having it in something tied to the market given the unpredictability of everything right now. Plus, Ally pays 1% interest which is basically as well as I was doing in the fund anyway.

          • Eh

            It frustrates me because I used to have it in a savings account which is currently making 1% interest, which is way better than losing money.

          • Not Sarah

            I’m willing to have my secondary emergency fund in mutual funds, i.e. if my emergency fund is more than 9 months, then the remainder can be in mutual funds. There’s enough other emergency fund that you hopefully won’t run through.

    • Not Sarah

      I am really fiscally conservative and like being able to take sabbaticals between jobs. Right now, I have about 8 months of normal expenses in an online savings account, 5 more months in harder to access savings, and another 4 months in index funds outside of retirement accounts. I’m working to get the total across all of those up to two years. I also have some goal savings (e.g. grad school tuition). I own a condo and my partner and I keep our finances mostly entirely separate, so I don’t have a separate income to fall back on if something goes wrong.

      • Eh

        I have three months income in mutual funds and another two plus months income in another account (that’s harder to access). I only put money into the main emergency fund (the other one was overflow from retirement savings before we bought our house since I maxed out what I could put in my retirement fund.

        • Not Sarah

          I don’t know how your expenses relate to your income, but I count my emergency fund based on N months of expenses rather than income since without income, I wouldn’t save for retirement or other things, I would just draw down savings until I’m working again.

          I would want 2-3 months expenses minimum in say a 1% savings account myself.

          • Eh

            It’s probably about four months expenses in the main one and three months expenses in the other one.

            I would prefer the main money be in a savings account that has 1% interest. I think that’s going to be a hard sell with my financial advisor.

          • Amy March

            You employ a financial advisor right? Not the other way around.

          • Eh

            I get what you are saying, but that’s why it’s a hard sell. My financial advisor obviously wants the money in investments since that’s how they make money.

          • Nicole

            If he isn’t going to help you do what you need and want to do, why are you paying him? Can’t you fire him or take your money somewhere else?

          • Eh

            And that’s the hard conversation that first would have to happen with my husband and then the financial advisor.

          • Not Sarah

            True. It sounds like a really important conversation to have though!

          • Eh

            I was made to believe that it wasn’t a big deal to have our emergency fund in low risk mutual funds and that it was normal. I am seeing that my gut feeling was probably right.

          • Not Sarah

            Which do you have – a financial planner or a financial advisor? As Amy March said, you are employing the financial advisor, so if you’re not happy with what they’re doing for you, you should fire them and find someone who will help you with what you want to do. Fee-only financial planners that charge $X per meeting are great because they have zero incentive for you to invest more money with them.

          • Eh

            We employ an advisor. Firing them is definitely something we will have to consider.

          • Nicole

            My husband was vaguely on board with moving more toward low fee index funds and away from financial advisors, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to put in effort to make changes and then we saw this https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiUzaWgjdPNAhUD6mMKHSlXDGEQyCkIIDAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgvZSpET11ZY&usg=AFQjCNE9UIuyaTUwfZ4TkjvpP_lMjvDzVw&sig2=xjQZJjlVuPdvT-YgBMkQfQ and he got a lot more excited about it. Obviously YMMV but it made a difference for us.

          • Eh

            That has some good info, but things are slightly more complicated because I am in Canada.

          • Do you know about this blog already? http://canadiancouchpotato.com/

          • Eh

            Do you know much about it? I stumbled across it on Friday.

  • Her Lindsayship

    Wow, reading the Jezebel Abigail Fisher article, and it’s GOLD.

    “That, to Abigail Fisher—because she worked hard and is a nice white person whose parents have always had burnt-orange Longhorn pot holders hanging on the grill in their nice neighborhood with nice schools made possible by nice FHA policies that made possible a life in 2016 in which “diversity” could seem like a value that would hurt white people rather than assuage whatever it is in their soul that makes them this way—is wrong.”

    <3

    • CP2011

      I grew up in Houston, where the author was doing her tutoring, and she hits a certain segment of upper middle class white Texan culture right on the nail. What a good read.

      • Her Lindsayship

        YES, I grew up outside of Dallas and I completely agree. Maybe other Southern cities are similar, but I think there’s an extra dose of hubris that comes with being white and Texan.

    • Rhie

      I went to UT for grad school (and my parents live in suburban Houston) and this case pissed me off so much, I’m so glad the Supreme Court didn’t rule for her. It’s like in her mind, she couldn’t go to UT so she couldn’t go to college when in fact she successfully matriculated from LSU. I am beyond happy this whole thing is settled now (or maybe for now… *&=*2%o45*).

  • Laura C

    Travel question: What are your experiences flying with a cat? My cat is…neurotic, and I’m terrified to bring him through airport security, but I can’t say I’m less terrified about putting him into the hands of an animal shipping company. Are some airlines easier to deal with than others or is it totally hit or miss?

    Also, completely unrelated minor vent, but…you guys, I am really doing better with my MIL than I expected, and I really do appreciate when she comes over to watch the baby while I go to the gym or work on packing for our move, but I am not kidding, in the last half hour three different times she asked me a question and then when I went to answer she immediately started talking loudly to the baby in a very overt “I’m ignoring you” way, so I either had to wait until she paused and then answer the question or just not answer it. It challenges my resolve to be open to her presence and grateful for what she offers.

    • I’ve taken my dogs on Southwest flights multiple times (as carry-on items lol — it costs $100 per pet each way) and it has gone totally smoothly every time. Airport security has always been super easy. You have to take it out of the carrier (which goes through the scanner), hold them while you walk through the metal detector, and then get your hands swabbed by a TSA agent. It’s really not bad at all!

      • Oh also I should add that my dogs have zero chill.

        • Cellistec

          How do you chill-ify them for the flight? Do they bark at all? That’s what I’m afraid my high-strung terrier would do. But now that I think about it, I’ve never heard a dog bark on a plane, even once.

          • Yeah I was worried about barking too but Eric was like “No, planes are SO LOUD” and he was so right! I don’t think they ever barked during the flight; if they did, I couldn’t hear it. Chuck barked ONCE, one time when we were waiting to exit the plane and a bunch of people were like “Oh I did not know there was a dog on this plane!”

            We have given them small doses of dramamine before traveling but I’m not sure how much difference it makes in their chill level. Like they often shake dramatically in the airport/at security but always manage to settle down as far as I can tell!

    • Eenie

      Have not flown with a cat but I would talk with your vet to make sure he’s in good health. It can be such a stressful thing, and honestly it’s why I always drive my car when I move (which I understand may not be an option for you). Try putting a leash and harness on him so he can get out of the carrier and cuddle with you when appropriate. Best of luck! And here’s a quick summary of airline petfriendliness: http://petfriendlytravel.com/airtravel

      • Laura C

        Unfortunately no choice — cross country move on tight schedule plus baby. Your basic nightmare in other words. And this is not a cat that will be cuddle-able in transit. I’m basically hoping to survive getting him through security without any new scars. But I talked to the vet about it a few months back and obviously he’ll need travel certification but at the time she said he was in good shape.

        • Eenie

          Well at least the plane ride will end eventually! I’d suggest a direct flight, and I hope the four of you (husband, baby, and cat) can all travel together? I would just make sure the soft carrier you get meets the airplanes under the seat requirements. I know some people have gotten burned by that.

        • Olive

          you can also ask your vet about any meds that might make the cat more chill for the trip?

        • CMT

          One thing to keep in mind is you’re not technically allowed to take your animal out of the carrier while you’re on the plane. I tried to comfort my dog once and the flight attendant was not happy.

    • nosio

      I’ve flown Virgin with my cats; it’s $100 extra, but as long as you have a cat carrier that fits under a seat, you’ll be fine*!

      * “fine” meaning you will live through the day and the airline will be cool with your animal; not a guarantee that your cat won’t pee in his carrier on the way to the airport, have it leak all over you and your fiance, and then TSA will make you hold your soaked, howling cat while they wand his carrier for explosives or whatever, and then settle in for the longest 4 hours of your life, apologizing to literally everyone on the plane. (For what it’s worth, our other cat was so quiet and calm I had to keep checking on him to make sure he hadn’t, like, died of embarrassment over the way his brother way acting.)

      • nosio

        Ooh, also: we had to get a thing from our vet before traveling stating that our buds were in good health and up-to-date on all their shots. Depending on which airline you fly they might ask for this!

      • Olive

        oh no! that’s terrible.

        • nosio

          Haha! It sucked, but I kept telling myself it was just one day we had to get through. And it helped distract me from my normal anxiety about flying!

    • Louise

      Well I’m a few days late, but we flew with our neurotic cat from India to Seattle, so over 20 hours, and I wanted to reply… A friend of ours shipped their cat and it had a rough experience (missed its connecting flight and was covered in its own urine upon arrival). So we carried our cat on. We flew Lufthansa, which charges $100 to carry a cat on. We bought a special cat arrived that was meant for carrying on a cat. We had it for about a month prior to leaving, and so left it out and open, with cat nip and toys in it. She got used to it and voluntarily spent time in it after a while.

      She DID freak out for about 10 minutes when we started flying, but my husband brought her to the bathroom and took her out of the carrier (don’t tell Lufthansa!) and she calmed down. She didn’t make a peep for the rest of the flight. We did have to take her out at security and attempted to leash train her for the occasion. We tried all the tricks that the Internet has to offer and she completely rejected the leash. But, she was so freaked out by being out of her carrier, she just clung to me. If you have a runner, I’d put a harness on them. We also brought a small Tupperware of food and an empty one for water, as well as a baggy of litter in case she had an accident. She didn’t eat, pee or poo the entire time.

      She was totally fine and happy when she arrived home and got out of her bag. It did take her a while to start eating, peeing and pooping regularly, but she was active and acting like herself right away.

  • Olive

    Happy Friday, all! Our roommate is moving out today! We have a 3 bedroom house and when my husband bought it (long before we met), rented rooms out to grad students/young professionals to help with the mortgage. Fast forward a few years, when I moved in and felt bad about ruining his financial plan to pay for the house, so we’ve had 2 different roommates since I’ve been living there. It’s not terrible, our room is the upstairs, so we get a good amount of privacy.

    But the last roommate is moving out, and I’m so damn excited! He’s a nice guy but a bit of an airhead and literally doesn’t see the filth he leaves. My husband and I are super compatible in terms of how we like to keep the house, and the roommate just threw a kink in everything. I could go on, but I’m so ready to be alone in the house with my husband and kitties and reclaim my kitchen and downstairs bathroom! His room is going to become my husband’s “study” (the other bedroom is my parlor :) ) and we will be all alone until there are babies.

    Did I mention I’m excited? :)

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      OMG I want a parlor! I’m excited for you two to have your space to yourselves!

      • Olive

        I love my parlor. It’s my craft room/office/a guest room currently, and has my piano in it (which is what makes it a parlor, in my opinion). Although it’s the smallest bedroom and we’re moving the guest bed into my husband’s study, so I’ll have more room for crafts! And maybe a reading chair. So excited!

    • Kalë

      So excited for you! I can’t wait until we can afford to live together sans-roommates – and ours, like yours, are perfectly nice as well. But ugh! Can’t wait to only share my space with one other person and dog :)

  • BSM

    APW Hive Mind, I need your help:

    My husband and I are upgrading from an old full bed and mattress, but we can’t decide – SHOULD WE GO QUEEN OR KING?

    We’re moving into a rental right now (selling our house) and don’t know where we’re going to land, but in the past we’ve had smaller bedrooms where a king wouldn’t really fit. But, since we’re going for a pretty nice upgrade and are thinking about kids, we’re tempted to go for something bigger.

    Thoughts? Is your king bed awesome? Or will a queen fit the bill for the foreseeable future? Also, mattress recs?

    • Eenie

      OMG KING BED IS AWESOME! But everything is more expensive for it. And it’s harder to move. But we love, love, love our king bed.

      • BSM

        Thanks! We are already dropping some $$$ on our dream bed, so I kind of feel like, why not? And this will be the bed to get us through the next 8-10 years, so I don’t want to regret not getting enough space.

        But also, more $! And will it fit in our hypothetical future bedroom?!

        • Eenie

          Make it fit. Do you really want to live in a place where king bed won’t fit? It always takes up almost the entire bedroom. I would suggest a queen if you planned on having a guest room a couple years down the line and could upgrade to a queen later. That’s kind of what we did (we lived apart and I got a queen as the future “guest” bed and the bed I had a my place).

    • JC

      A king always feels so luxurious to us, but then we find that we get cold! I’m a fan of the queen.

    • Essssss

      I feel lonely in a king bed when we have had one at hotels. Like, I can go a whole night curled up on my side without the occasional snuggle, hand hold, foot touch in the sleep. I like those things. Some people don’t. But for me, king bed = lonely island of alone sleeping.

      • BSM

        This is my husband’s main concern!

        • Eenie

          Who are you people? We hit and kick each other all the time in our king lol.

          • JC

            Oh wait, maybe if we had a king, he would be far enough away to not steal my pillows!

          • Eenie

            Verified. Also, we each just have our own sheets/blankets so we can’t say the other person is stealing unless they’re truly stealing.

          • JC

            That’s hilarious. The sheets do get unevenly distributed from time to time, but the real problem is when he sleep-grabs a pillow out from BEHIND MY HEAD.

          • Eenie

            Buy extra pillows! We each have: a full length body pillow (heaven). I have a memory foam king sized pillow, he has two other pillows as well (king sized).

            He cannot use sheets correctly so he gets a washable blanket, I get the sheet in the summer and sheet + comforter in the winter.

            We really struggle sleeping anywhere besides our king sized pillow filled bed. We bring our own pillows if we are driving somewhere (even people’s houses. seriously, your guest bed should get at least four decent pillows!).

          • JC

            Hahaha there are lots of pillows. The problem is that the one underneath my head is conveniently positioned in the place from which he grabs pillows in his sleep. I can usually steal it back, but I am awake and he is not.

          • Ashlah

            As a light sleeper who has trouble falling back asleep, that would drive me crazy! You have my sympathies!

    • Eh

      We have a queen but seriously considered a king. The biggest reason we bought a new queen over getting a king was buying all new bedding. I love our down duvet and I love the handmade quilt (made my my step-grandmother for our wedding) we have for our queen. We also only plan on having two children but if for some reason we have three we would have to move into one of the smaller bedrooms so two kids could share the master and a king would not fit in the smaller rooms.

    • Ashlah

      Thank you for asking this, we have the same dilemma! A king would be pretty cramped in our current bedroom, and we’ve previously thought they were too big in hotel rooms, but we’re planning to have a kid soon and sometimes the Queen is just a little too small, and we’d be planning to hang on to the bed/mattress for a long time, so…

      • BSM

        It’s so tough! I had previously been the one pushing the king, and my husband was finally convinced, but now I’m not sure!

        Let me know what you decide…

    • We got a new bed 2 years ago, and I wish we could go back and get the King. Whenever we’re traveling & in a king bed, we marvel at the space. Our Queen feels too small now.

    • CMT

      King!!! Oh man, definitely king. The bigger the better when it comes to beds.

      • Eenie

        We often remark about why there isn’t a king plus? We need an extra foot width wise.

        • CMT

          Is that what a California king is? I know I’ve seen bedding in that size, but I’ve never known what it meant.

          • Not Sarah

            California king is longer than a queen, but same width. ‘Normal’ king is wider than a queen, but same length.

    • Kyla

      Tuft and Needle makes great mattresses! 100 day trial, shipped directly to your home/apartment, and it’s awesome. They are online only but that keeps the cost down because there is no commission

    • StevenPortland

      King, king, king, king! Especially if you ever end up having a kiddo sneak into your room in the middle of the night.

      • BSM

        This is exactly what I hear!

    • emilyg25

      I truly find Queen sufficient. I’m a bedding whore (I buy new sheets like every year) and King linens are so expensive!

    • Poppy

      I vote king. Over the last year or two, I’ve become a lighter sleeper after a lifetime of sleeping like a rock. My partner is an….active sleeper, let’s say. He tosses and turns and rolls around most nights, even when he gets good sleep, and all that motion wakes me up in our queen bed, but never when we’re sharing a king at a hotel or something. You never know how your sleep habits and needs might change over time! I think it’s unlikely you’ll ever wish you had LESS space.

      • Ashlah

        This is an interesting point. I’ve always been a relatively light sleeper, but it seems to continually be getting worse. Point in the king column.

    • Sparkles

      I’d be cautious about moving limitations. It’s really hard to fit king boxsprings places (if you’re going the box spring route). If you do get a king, make sure you invest in the split boxsprings so you can get it up the stairs. Also, most older homes don’t have bedrooms that comfortably fit a king bed.

      That said, the extra space is luxurious.

    • Team King mattress!

      My partner and I had a queen for 10 years after college and upgraded to an Ikea king that is fabulous (not having to haggle over the price & knowing the cost of each mattress we tried up front? = priceless). One of our dogs is a snuggler, so the extra room is totally worth it for us. I also have turned into a much lighter sleeper than I used to be and having the extra space to dampen my partner’s thrashing at night has been amazing too.

    • LP

      We shared a TWIN for years. It was awful. I never slept well. A queen feels so luxurious to me.we considered a king but got a queen because we were concerned about space. We totally could’ve gotten the king, but I don’t regret it. We’ll probably upgrade sooner than later and make our queen the guest bed.

    • Rebekah

      We chose a queen because of price and space (in the Bay Area). When we first married I thought I’d never get used to sharing so little space with someone, but 2 years in it feels very lonely when he’s not next to me. I did just purchase a king sized top sheet, though, and that has made a world of difference. Apparently I’m a sheet thief.

  • ruth

    A lot of people in my life have been raving about the benefits they feel from giving up sugar, gluten etc… and not so subtly trying to convert me to their nutritional lifestyle – but I’m not sure. I’m 33, thankfully in good health – I’m not skinny but I’m not fat, I’m a solidly medium sized, average person and most days I’m happy with myself. I used to be hollywood skinny but I was also 10 years younger then, and I’m wondering if 150 is the new 125 for my body, just like 35 is the new 25. I think there’s a subtle slippery line between dieting to “feel great” and get rid of “toxins” – and dieting because as women we’ve absorbed deep cultural messages that our bodies are not ok the way they are and must be changed in order to be acceptable to ourselves or others (on a different note I read a terrifying (to me) article that 62 % of American women remove their public hair. I’m like how about we all just embrace the bodies nature gave us?) Maybe I could eat healthier and exercise more and maybe that would decrease my risk of acquiring diabetes in my later years, but honestly I’ve found I have so much more mental and creative energy freed up in my 30s than I did in my 20s because I’ve basically just stopped trying to fight my body / cravings.

    • Essssss

      Amen, sister. “Strong” is the new “skinny” but the message can be just as toxic. In the past few weeks I have cleaned out the clothes that fit uncomfortably, bought some new ones that I love, and embraced that 150 is my new 130. Healthy eating, a reasonable level of exercise and that’s just where the number stays now. Fighting it seems like it will just screw up my metabolism in the long haul.

    • Not Sarah

      This is a huge debate I’ve been having lately. Is 120 my new 100? This is a healthier weight according to my doctor. I’ve revamped my wardrobe and eliminated my size 2, 24, and XXS clothes and that made a huge difference in how I feel about myself. I have been shifting my diet a bit though and working on an exercise plan. But if with regular exercise after a few months I’m still 120, then I will tell myself to be happy with that.

      • Jess

        120 is the new 100 for me too! (high-five)

        • Not Sarah

          Omg we are still twins! High five right back at you!

    • Olive

      Love this! I’ve been struggling with body love recently and your post made me smile. I’ve gained weight since my wedding, had a rough year emotionally and being in grad school doesn’t help.

      I’m with you, girl! I don’t trust diets. I’ve been working on practicing mindful eating (i.e. eat if you’re hungry, stop when you’re full) and it seems a lot more sustainable.

    • emilyg25

      I like food and booze more than I like being skinny. I focus on making mostly healthy food choices and exercising because it’s fun and keeps my body strong.

      • Not Sarah

        Part of my problem is that I hate shopping (i.e. changing sizes) more than I care about what size I actually am.

        • emilyg25

          I refuse to keep clothes that don’t fit, but that has cost me so much money over the years as I’ve bounced around sizes. :/

          • Not Sarah

            That’s good! I’ve been purging clothes that don’t fit that I no longer love, but keeping clothes I would wear again if they did fit. So far, I haven’t been bouncing around sizes, just increasing… so all I can do is acquire new, larger clothes.

          • Ashlah

            I’ve finally had to start replacing my wardrobe since becoming more active, but I’m totally afraid to get rid of my old/current clothes! It is so expensive to build a wardrobe. Maybe I’ll stash away some favorite staples for a while. On the other hand, it is a nice push to finally get rid of some older pieces that aren’t in great shape.

    • Hope

      I have just turned 40 and gained some weight over the last couple of years. While I think I’m ok with it and I’m in the healthy zone, I don’t want it to turn into a continuing drift upward. This makes me think I need to exert some self-control :)

    • NM

      I’ve been thinking so much of what you said. And yikes 62% eliminate pubic hair– and many say it is for their health, according to the article I read. I blame porn, but maybe that is just because I am not a fan. Anyone else have thoughts on that?

    • Eenie

      Ok, so that article (I saw something about it on slate) – It’s something like 62% which includes shaving your bikini line. There was also misleading stuff about removing all your hair, the statistic was that whatever percentage had done it in their lifetime, and the majority less than five times.

    • Sparkles

      FWIW, my theory about a lot of these low sugar, low gluten (no sugar/no gluten) diets is that when you cut out sugar or gluten, you cut out processed food. Limited processed food is a lifestyle choice for me, because I’m interested in the whole farm-to-table/self-sufficient/local food thing. Doing it to lose weight definitely beats the goal to my mind.

  • AmandaBee

    You guys, my wedding is in 2 weeks and I really have no idea what I’m doing. I guess I should make a seating chart? Maybe make sure my dress still fits? I don’t even know what to be stressed about.

    Today I realized I have no cake topper and all the cute ones I’ve found online take 3-4 weeks to get to you, which I had no idea. So….DIY cake topper ideas?

    What else should I be doing 2 weeks out?

    • Keri

      Re: cake toppers: I saw these ones on etsy that were those plastic figurine animals but one had a tiny tulle veil glued to its head and the other had a bow-tie and they were so cute i died. (Alter to your circumstances if you care to gender them). They came in all forms and the ones I liked best were seals and I might try to DIY them. But honestly you can do anything. Glue some hearts (or birds?) onto skewers with your initials and stick ’em in. I’ve also seen cute little bunting ones that spell out “Just married” which I think you could DIY with some paper/ribbon/skewers. Basically – get some skewers. Put a thing on them. Stick them in your cake.

      • AmandaBee

        Good idea! Seals on a cake sounds super adorable for sure. I am the least craftiest person, but I think I’m recruiting a crafty friend to help me out on this one. We may go the cute-shapes-on-skewers route for sure.

        • Kyla

          tons of stores (even craft stores) have plastic fruit or animals you could spray paint with anything lying around. It would take 10 min to paint and then you put them on the cake! Boom!

    • Essssss

      Maybe anything lingering that feels like it can be done now as a gift to your future self so that the day/weekend is less stressful? My big one was stage everything: make boxes of stuff that have to go to different places and know who needs to get them there. Seating chart, yes… Confirm with vendors? Make a day of time line and share with people who have jobs? Enjoy and soak in that you don’t feel like you have a lot left to do?

      The caterer just put some of our table flowers on top of the cake and we thought that was perfect and didn’t require any additional projects.

      • Olive

        yes to boxes! my friend came over one afternoon and helped me box and label everything based on where it needed to go and who’s car it was going in! So helpful!

        • AmandaBee

          Oooh good idea – we need to clean and organize wedding stuff I’m general, and also figure out what else we need.

      • AmandaBee

        Good points all. I think we actually have quite a bit to do and I’m just blocking it which is why I have that weird I-should-be-stressed feeling. Gonna force myself to make a list tonight and try to blast through it this weekend, huzzah.

    • Olive

      flowers instead of toppers! flowers all the way!

      • AmandaBee

        Yesss, good point. We have DIY flowers so we may have extra anyway.

    • Eenie

      Or no cake topper?

      • AmandaBee

        We could go that route, but we have pretty minimal decor and a super basic cake (like…it’s not decorated) so I thought this was an easy way to make our party look “wedding” if that makes sense.

        • Eenie

          For sure! But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s a very small detail. We didn’t even have a cake…

          • AmandaBee

            Our cake was one of those concede-to-the-family things, but I’m actually really happy we have it now. I think I just wanna find a way to jazz it up that feels like…us. And so many of the ready-to-buy toppers I’ve seen are just…meh (or SUPER sexist – wtf?).

            It might be a flowers or shapes-on-skewers kind of thing, but that’s probably more our speed than something elaborate.

          • Eenie

            Do you have a friend that would love to do this for you? AKA, here’s $70, please find us a not sexist wedding cake topper? Or obviously any of the ideas here work too!

          • emmers

            I think it’s one of those details featured heavily in photos, but in real life matters way less!

        • Ashlah

          We made a cake topper and then the people setting up didn’t realize it was a cake topper, so we had no cake topper. It was still a wedding!

          (But I totally get what you mean, so salt and pepper shakers make cute, easy cake toppers if you have a good kitchen store nearby [or BBB or Ross or thrift store, etc]).

          • AmandaBee

            I literally never would have thought about salt and pepper shakers. This is why I love APW.

          • emmers

            This happened to us too!! So not worth the stress.

        • Danielle

          We had no cake topper, minimal decor and it was still totally a wedding!

          Also… our friend’s kid accidentally smashed our cake when they went to go pick it up for us that morning (wonderful friends!). The friend felt horrible, our relatives whisked it away before we could see it, and they cut it up into slices. We served it that way later and no one thought anything about it; they were too busy stuffing their faces with cake (it was good cake! And sugar is addictive, see above). I didn’t even realize what had happened until afterwards, and even now it’s one of my favorite stories about our wedding :)

          Which is to say, you really don’t need a cake topper. But if you want one, get one. But it’s not worth the stress, either way.

        • Can you do fresh flowers or something instead? I think in a pinch you can do Amazon or Michael’s sells some super generic toppers in the stores.

          • AmandaBee

            It’s an option! I think a simple craft or some flowers might be the approach.

      • Shawna

        Giving myself permission to not do a cake/pie/dessert topper was a revelation. It’s one of those things that seems particularly “weddingy” in advance (I definitely have a whole list on Etsy just for cake toppers), but if you’re two weeks out and haven’t gotten around to caring about one by actually making it real, part of me says why start now? If you want a project that’s one thing, but if you’re just trying to please an imaginary someone else, our pies looked plenty weddingy without a topper and people raved about the taste. So just giving you another ok to skip ’em if you choose.

        For a moment I got really excited about getting a Luke Skywalker action figure and a…something else for me (??) to just put on the dessert table near the pies. His name’s Luke and I’m a giant Star Wars nerd (I think three of the toasts made a related joke). So maybe you already have something at home that’s meaningful that could serve as decoration without it being an official cake topper?

    • Rose

      We did our own flowers, so we just stuck a dahlia and a couple of other flowers on top of our cake. Totally an option! I imagine if you asked, a florist might be able to give you an extra flower or two too. (we also had an undecorated cake, but the flowers made the plain white look quite elegant).

  • lady brett

    having my honey as a house-spouse is awful. i hate everything about it, and i really need them to get a job. (i mean, we need, logistically, for them to get a job, but i’m so less stressed about the legitimate money concerns than the part where they *suck* at house-spouse duties.) i am tired of coming home from work to clean shit when they are not going to work at all. i am tired of being mad (my least favorite feeling), and i’m tired of them being sad to no avail. come on, next week’s job interview!

    • AmandaBee

      YES I COULD HAVE TYPED THIS. I love my fiance, he is my favorite person. On the bright side, him being long-term unemployed did force us to develop more equitable house duties. Also, I think he is trying. But we have had so many conversations about this, and it’s extra frustrating when I’m working overtime and he’s…not really working but still can’t find time to do more than super basic cleaning.

      Good luck to your honey – I hope they get the job (for both of your sakes).

    • Keri

      So right now I’m home for the summer and my fiancé is working as usual. I thought I would get so much shit done, but it’s like, the only things I have to do are wedding crap, walk the dog, clean the house, and try not to spend money. I alternate between feeling like obviously I should take up more of the household stuff – I have so much time! and then feeling pissed because “I am the only one who is ever doing the dishes!” And obviously there are worse things, but it’s kind of boring and lonely because everyone else is at work and then I just feel guilty for not doing more stuff. Basically, it’s tough probably for both of us, as it probably is for you too. So good luck and hope things move in there right direction soon!

      • lady brett

        i definitely know it’s rough for them, but i legitimately don’t *understand*. i used to have 2 days off a week and could easily handle almost everything that they can’t do in 5. it’s a shit division of labor (because working is not really my forte, either).

        • Keri

          One thing I’ve noticed is that it’s hard to keep yourself to a schedule when you feel like you have all the time in the world. Like, I’m just going to have more nothing to do tomorrow, so what does it matter if I do this laundry today or tomorrow? etc. And then it’s easy to start feeling down when you are thinking that way, which makes it even harder to get stuff done. Maybe it would help to gave a gentle and understanding talk about each of your expectations and prioritize some timelines/tasks?

    • Eenie

      Ugh that’s the worst. Good luck to your honey at the interview! If it doesn’t go well, would a checklist of some sort go better? I’m currently stuck at home and the big things that I always try to do are dishes and laundry. Every day. Cause once that’s piled up it really feels like work. Is there a handful of things that really make you mad when they are left undone? I’ve made a list for my husband (he’s been trying to get away with doing as little as possible – which is fine) of must do’s for him: put dirty tupperware in dishwasher, clothes in laundry basket, and replace the toilet paper.

    • I just wrote a huge thing about hmmm maybe something is going on besides simple ineptitude at house-spouse-ing, but then re-read your comment and it sounds like you know that there is quite a bit going on in this situation.

      Good luck with figuring out work and cleaning stuff with your spouse — whatever the root cause, the situation sounds tremendously frustrating and stressful.

  • Not Sarah

    I’m pretty sure my boyfriend would be the most marvelous house spouse and I love it except that he’s also the one who likes his job more. We bought a food processor recently and now he wants to make his own hummus and peanut butter.

  • nosio

    Ooh, I wanted to pass this on in case fans of The Toast haven’t seen it yet, since it’s their last day (I’m so sad about this, even though I knew it was coming): “A Note On The Toast,” by HILLARY CLINTON. http://the-toast.net/2016/07/01/a-note-on-the-toast/

  • Marie

    We’re exactly eight weeks away from the wedding, tomorrow!
    We had our venue walk-through yesterday, and it was a lot. I am realizing it is going to be tougher than I anticipated get the venue lighting and music I want.

    For anyone who Self-DJ’d – what computer program did you use? Is there an application that lets you shorten the length of songs in a playlist (not just cross-fade them)? Is there a cost-effective way to source MP3s (at less than $1 per song) that you can then edit?

    • Violet

      You can use iTunes to shorten songs by cutting the front or back end, and then use crossfade from there.

      • CP2011

        That’s what we did. Worked just fine. I edited down songs to around 3:30 each and the cross fade eliminated that pause between

    • Eenie

      We just did spotify. They ran a promotion for three months premium upfront and a free chromecast. We were 2.5 months from the wedding. Husband created playlists. Pre ceremony, first dance, parents’ dance, dance, and dance explicit. We added songs to each as we went (first dance and parents’ were only one song). We planned to hit shuffle on the other mixes and just go with it, but apparently we just ran through them straight, which meant we played lots of artists’ songs back to back (oops). It went fine, the dancefloor was full the whole time.

    • EF

      we did spotify — i’m a heavy and premium user anyways, and it was fun to share the playlist afterwards. as we aren’t dancing people, cross-fade etc just did.not.matter . made the playlist, stuck in on shuffle, and voila!

    • emilyg25

      We also used Spotify, but didn’t need to shorten any songs.

    • emmers

      Plus one for spotify premium!

  • toomanybooks

    I got my wedding dress secondhand (like, a good while ago – it’s been a longish engagement) and it had alterations done already, which I thought would be a bonus for me because that way the dress would already be not too long to walk in. The thing is, I’m actually worried it’s a bit too short, and that the armpit holes are too small (can those be “let out” or?), that it’s too tight in the chest and across the stomach (I’ve gained some weight since I got it), etc…
    So I just went into a bit of a wedding dress haze online and ordered another one on Amazon because it was only $100 and I could just return it if it didn’t work and/or I came out of my tizzy. It felt kind of silly to do!

    On that note, I’ve posted in the hairstyle article that I was going for a look like Lana Del Rey in the Burning Desire video. I know that the dress she wears in the video is by Ghost London. I’m trying to see if I can find something similar, with the same sort of feel… But with more of an a-line skirt fit than mermaid. If anyone has seen anything like this around, please let me know about it!

    • Keri

      A friend of mine did exactly the same thing (bought one with alterations, then bought another online – except it was after several glasses of wine) and she ended up wearing the second dress and loving it and looking fab.

    • Amy March

      Arm holes can often be let out. Just opening the seam on the bottom and making the hole itself bigger will give you more room in the chest and in the arm holes.

    • Jess

      I did in fact have the armpit holes “let out” because I had to get the straps taken in (thanks short upper body!)

      They were cutting into my armpits, making it impossible for me to stand up without slouching.

      They basically cut and reshape. It’s harder if you’ve got boning (I did), because you either have a limit for how low you can cut them out or have to have a tailor who will be willing to cut the boning (mine was!).

      Regarding everything else, I am still currently looking online… just-in-case.

    • Nothing of substance to add to this discussion but to say: dang, that is a great dress. Fingers crossed that you find something similar!

    • CommaChick

      I was going to suggest Target’s Tevolio Soft Satin Cowl Neck Bridal Gown, but it doesn’t look like they sell it anymore. Another one that’s close, however, is Ann Taylor’s Mya: http://www.anntaylor.com/mya-cowl-neck-wedding-dress/304218.

  • Nicole

    Who packs lunches to go to work? My husband and I are wanting to do less eating out for lunches at work, but we struggles, especially on weeks where we aren’t cooking dinner as much for leftovers. We’d like to have some lunch staples around so it would be easier to regularly pack lunches. Do you have any go tos? Any tips on packing lunch more consistently? We’re also looking into the possibility of lunch clubs where we take turns bringing lunches with coworkers, but not sure if that’s going to pan out.

    • BSM

      My husband likes to do a kind of charcuterie lunch, which is super easy to put together and fun to eat. Nice deli meat (we buy a mix of prosciutto and other Italian meats at TJ’s), fancy crackers or a little sourdough roll, dried fruit, hummus, baby carrots or raw broccoli (he is weird and likes raw broccoli).

      He also keeps PB, frozen waffles, and honey at work, so he just brings a banana in the morning to throw a quick breakfast together, too.

      • AmandaBee

        I may just have to try a charcuterie lunch, it sounds delicious and that’s all stuff we normally have on hand.

    • Keri

      I found having a rice cooker really made it easier to pack lunches because even if it’s getting late, you can put some on, throw some stuff in tupperware with it, and go to bed. One of my go-to’s is brown rice, some kind of bean or frozen edamame, a frozen vegetable (green beans, broccoli, or peas), drizzled with sesame oil and some soy sauce. You can put it all in frozen and then just heat it up, and with the sesame oil, everyone at work will be like “Oooooh what smells so good??” and you can be like, “Some crap from my freezer.”

      • Just Me

        Yes! I do this all the time. We usually plan on at least 2-3 days of lunches being “rice bowls” because it’s so easy to make in the rice cooker without any extra effort. Then, we’ll either put leftovers (sauce, veggies, etc.) from dinner, or through in some fresh chopped veggies from the fridge (red peppers, tomatoes, whatever) and some cheese and usually a little oil and vinegar (olive/coconut/sesame with red wine/basalmic/rice depending on the rest of the ingredients). Sometimes I even just cut up a few pieces of lunch meat into little chunks and throw them in for extra protein. I realized that I really dislike cold lunches (sandwiches, most salads) so having something warm is key for me to enjoy bring lunches.

        I had a few weeks off recently and cooked up several “emergency rice bowl” toppings which are now frozen in 1-2 serving sizes. We grabbed out today (chicken/carrots/yellow curry paste) to put on the extra rice still in the fridge at the end of a long week.

        The other things I do is make some sort of casserole on monday so we can get 1 dinner and 2-3 lunches.

      • Hannah B

        wait you cook stuff other than rice in the rice cooker?? you can do that???

        • Keri

          I think you can! I know you can do quinoa too (although that boils over more than rice). But I meant I cook the rice and then add frozen veggies to my individual container. I find that letting them thaw in the fridge for a few hours once you pack them, it all heats up pretty perfectly in 2-3 minutes.

    • Ashlah

      I’ve gone through phases where I packed lunches more regularly, then lose interest for a while. Wraps and sandwiches are always easy, and I have an easier time sticking with it if I make them the night before, rather than rushing around in the morning. I’ve always liked the idea of jar salads, but haven’t done it myself. Purposefully make bigger servings of food for dinner so that you do have leftovers. Make and freeze batches of soup in the fall and winter.

      • the cupboard under the stairs

        I tried jar salads for a while. They’re cute and everything, but I found them totally impractical–how do you go about mixing all the ingredients together? How do you reach for all the stuff at the bottom? If you do it, I recommend finding a pack of wide-mouth mason jars rather than the standard shape.

        • Essssss

          I shake them up to mix and then pour into a bowl I keep at work :)

          • the cupboard under the stairs

            What kind of greens do you use? I use spinach and when I shake the jar, I just find that…nothing moves. Not super helpful, ha!

          • Essssss

            I usually use some kind of spring mix, but whatever lettuce I have around. I use a narrow mouth 1 quart mason jar and shake violently. Upside down, right side up, with enthusiasm. Cause, I’m just gonna eat it in a second so I’m not worried about smooshed stuff. Then, dump it in a big bowl. I also put lots of heavy stuff at the bottom in the dressing- walnuts, avocadao, tomato, feta, so maybe that weight helps move stuff around? Its not perfect but its a routine.

          • the cupboard under the stairs

            Ah, so I lacked adequate violence! Got it. :)

          • Essssss

            Its good if you’ve had a frustrating morning at work.

        • Ashlah

          I wondered about that! I thought if I ever got around to doing it, I’d just make them in a big pyrex container, and maybe just leave the dressing separate.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I find that staying on top of grocery shopping is the key to my success to bringing lunch. I always try to have a bunch of different fruit on hand, and my staple summer lunch is a caprese salad made with a string cheese. It’s filling and yummy! I also find it more palatable to bring a bunch of smaller things so I’m not just bored with a sandwich. I like bringing some fruit, some almonds, and some sort of cheese in a salad or sandwich. Having a fun bento box is a good incentive and makes me happy!

      • Nicole

        String cheese! Genius!!

        • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

          It was born out of desperation/laziness, but it works and you can never go wrong with string cheese!

    • Cellistec

      I pack my lunch every day and go through some serious decision fatigue on Sundays when I need to plan my meals. Trader Joe’s has been a lifesaver because they have fun stuff that’s microwave-friendly; I also checked out the book Salad Love, which has creative salad ideas I never would have come up with on my own.

      • Nicole

        I’ll have to check out that book. Also, I think decision fatigue is the worst part. If I knew what to make and didn’t have to think about it, I’d be golden. Most mornings we have yogurt and granola. We don’t have to think about it. We need the same thing for lunch!

        • Cellistec

          Yup, that’s why I eat the same lunch for a week solid. Some people find that boring, but I’m always relieved to get all the planning done at once. The only problem is that nothing comes in 5-packs.

        • A single Sarah

          My formula for a salad that makes my coworkers impressed:
          1) greens of some sort
          2) other veggies as on hand (this winter’s csa had lots of radishes. Currently I have broccoli and avocado and carrots in the fridge)
          3) seasonal fruit (right now strawberries. Fall is apples. Roasted squash also fits here)
          4) cheese–usually blue or feta or goat.
          5) nuts or seeds

          Dressing comes in a 4oz mason jar. But I should get olive oil and vinegar for my desk.

    • Eenie

      Meal prep. We spend about 2 hours every weekend cooking and packing lunches. We also eat this for dinner too. We budget for one lunch out a week to make it better.

      • Nicole

        I love the idea of this but then we get busy on weekends (especially in the summer, out hiking and camping and stuff) and when we get home we’re so tired! What kinds of things do you cook when you meal prep? Do you have some go-tos that you go back to? I know it’s the kind of thing we just need to push through and create as a habit but haven’t been super successful at our tries so far.

        • Eenie

          We typically do one crock pot meal (chicken and veggies or a roast), we make a whole bunch of ground breakfast sausage + vegetable and add eggs each day for breakfast, then we’ll do taco ground beef, roasted salmon, balsamic chicken thighs, burgers, hot dogs, etc. We did Prep Dish for a while but stopped after we discovered some quicker go tos. Then we roast a shit ton of vegetables (aparagus, zuccini, broccoli, cauliflower, acorn squash, brussel sprouts).

          It’s our new routine to shop on Saturday (Sams opens at 7am for plus members!) and cook on Sunday. I will not tell you that it’s the easiest thing in the world because there are some days where we cook in silence because we are so fucking tired and just want to sit down. But our worst fights have been in the weeks where we didn’t meal prep and run out of food.

          On the plus side, it’s now a really nice thing that on some weekends if one of us falls asleep or just isn’t feeling great, the other will do all the cooking and it’s an awesome feeling on both sides because we appreciate just how much work it is.

          • Nicole

            Thank you for all the details…super super helpful.

        • Essssss

          We also do a lot of outdoor weeked-seizing, so sometimes I do meal prep on Monday evenings. Which can be a little exhausting, but at least it makes the rest of the week easier.

          • Nicole

            We might have to make that happen. At least during the summer!

    • emmers

      I mainly do leftovers, but when I’m low on those, sometimes I do a salad with lots of fun cheese, or kind of a grab bag, like with a granola bar, cheese wheel, an apple some pistachios, humus w/ carrots, maybe an avocado with cracked pepper triscuits and feta, that kind of thing. I kinda view going out for lunch as a treat now.

    • Essssss

      – Big fan of mason jar salads- dressing and protein/crunchy veg at the bottom, lettuce at the top
      – We make pans of enchiladas and then freeze single portion bags
      – I buy pre-made tamales for days when I need to run out of the house but still don’t want to go out for lunch
      – Leftovers! Bulk up recipes so there is more for the next day
      – I make big pots of soup and freeze in individual portions
      – Sweet potatoes can be microwaved
      – Toast + avocado + leftover protein

      – Hard boiled eggs (make a dozen on Sunday) plus whatever else you have around

      • Essssss

        Oh also, buying a rotisserie chicken (or roasting it yourself) and then using the meat for lunches thru the week, in sandwiches and salads, or alongside leftover sides from dinner, is super convenient and tasty.

      • I will also add pre-making a giant pasta salad to this list. Easy to prep ahead, you can eat it cold or hot, and add proteins or extra leftover veggies into it later in the week for some variety.

    • Some weeks I make a big batch of food just for lunches that week. Usually things like peanut noodles or pineapple fried rice, which are meals I make regularly (also my husband doesn’t like peanut noodles so sometimes I will make a batch only for lunches). I always keep cans of soup in my desk at work so that on days I forget to pack my lunch, I have an already-paid-for lunch alternative there. Sometimes also when i am in a hurry, I throw cheese and tortillas in a bag and make quesadillas when I get to work.

      My husband also almost always packs his own lunch for work and has pretty much had the same lunch the whole time we have been married. He packs a sandwich, a banana and some string cheese or apple sauce. It is a roast beef sandwich on rye bread with one slice of swiss cheese. (It’s the saddest sandwich when we run out of cheese, he doesn’t put lettuce or mustard on it or anything). He doesn’t like to bring anything that needs to be microwaved because there is always a long line for the microwave. I think finding one thing for lunch and always making it as part of your morning routine is a good way to always get lunch. I ate the same lunch all 4 years of high school.

    • CP2011

      We bring lunch every day. If you like sandwiches, that’s a total easy option. Soup, healthy frozen meals (I buy at a discount store) and pasta made in the morning are all quick options. It might take a while to adjust to plainer foods if you’re used to eating restaurant food at lunch, but maybe you could find another lunchtime activity or treat from home to replace the fun of going out?

      • Nicole

        You know, at this point at least for me, the eating out is more of a chore. It’s expensive, I have to figure something out and go there and take time. When we manage to pack meals it is better all around, so I don’t think it will be a let down so much as we just need to change our habits so we’re thinking ahead and grocery shopping and stuff.

    • Not Sarah

      When I consistently bring sandwiches, what I do is on Monday, I bring in all the ingredients for the whole week and then I make myself a sandwich at lunch time every day. I find that easier than doing it in the morning.

      Lately, I’ve been taking some leftover chicken and some veggies and that has also been working great.

      • Not Sarah

        Also, I saw a nutritionist recently and she recommended I eat 3-4 oz of protein at lunch and dinner and eat breakfast with protein. This has revolutionized my food eating. I’m no longer hungry for as many snacks as I was before, which makes packing food far, far easier.

        • Nicole

          All of these are great ideas. What kinds of proteins did you add in? I bike to work so I end up getting pretty snack-y, but I have also been trying to eat yogurt a lot because without probiotics I seem to be prone to some issues.

          • Essssss

            Hard boiled eggs, almonds, peanut butter, hummus, or half an avocado all help me feel like whatever I’ve brought is filling enough

          • Not Sarah

            I ended up finding some cereals with protein, which mostly ended up being ones with peanut butter and/or nuts in them and less sugar. This one is our favourite so far of the ones we picked up: http://www.kindsnacks.com/store/peanut-butter-whole-grain-clusters-6pack.html

            Also, baby carrots instead of needing to cut up carrots has meant I’ll actually eat them at lunch…

          • Nicole

            I’m literally eating baby carrots right now. I resisted because it seems like we should be able to do it more cost effectively with less packaging if I buy whole carrots at the market, but then we are less likely to eat them! My husband is allergic to peanuts, but he can do almonds and walnuts, so maybe we need to add these into our morning routines.

          • Not Sarah

            I brought in a two-cup tupperware of nuts earlier this week and it’ll last me for a bit. I like keeping food at work.

    • Chloe

      I started a new job in January and the seriously limited options for lunch places near by has really helped me be much better at taking lunch in which I do every day now! We’ve started getting weekly grocery deliveries which means we’re much better at having food in the house full stop but especially for lunches. I’ve also been buying pouches of ready to eat quinoa and lentils and things which make interesting and more substantial salads. Sure they’re more expensive than buying dried packs but so much quicker and easier in the mornings and compared to buying lunch out everyday still cheaper. I’ve also found making lunch before I get into the shower really helps.

    • AmandaBee

      I make a giant grain-and-veggie type salad and portion it out. More filling than salad, still fits in a single container, and stays good all week. I had a coworker that actually just made it in a big container and brought the whole thing to work on Monday, which also isn’t a bad approach.

    • JC

      This is the best thread! I bring a smoothie every day (I’m totally fine eating the same thing every day, but YMMV), but I’m a little bored with them, at this point. I think it’s time to try something new!
      In case anyone is wondering, my go-to smoothie recipe is:
      – lots of chopped ginger
      – greens (preferably kale)
      – a few shakes of turmeric
      – a spoonful of nut/seed butter (sunbutter is my jam)
      – a banana (preferably frozen)
      – frozen fruit, like mango, raspberries, strawberries, or cherries
      – enough non-dairy milk to blend

      • Nicole

        I agree it’s a great thread! I was sort of at a loss when we started talking about how we need to start doing this, because it seems like we’ve already been trying, and now we’re recommitting. Then i realized I knew just who to ask – the APW community is not letting me down!

      • Ashlah

        That sounds yummy! The turmeric has me curious. I make a smoothie for breakfast every morning. Amond milk, greek yogurt, chia seeds, peanut powder, spinach, banana, and strawberries. I have the same one every day mostly because I know it works and I’m afraid to experiment!

        • JC

          I think you can make the turmeric really strong (like golden milk), but I don’t notice the flavor anymore with just the couple shakes I add! Ginger and turmeric have some anti-inflammatory properties (probably minimal, but it doesn’t hurt!) so I like having them every day!

    • Olive

      I’ve brought a sandwich with me to school/work for literally my entire life. When I was a kid making lunches before bed was a family ritual…now I make it in the morning before breakfast. I get sick of them sometimes, but switching up the protein/bread, other add-ins, or making it a salad makes it better. Recently I’ve been making wraps with Fold It flatbreads. Before I lived with my husband I’d bring leftovers for lunch a lot and would sometimes trade with my lunch friend, but now leftovers go to the next day’s dinner rather than my lunch…

    • emilyg25

      The Kitchn is a wealth of creative lunch recipes. They just did a series of salads that last for several days in the fridge.

    • JLily

      I almost always bring leftovers, but if we don’t have them, my go-tos are

      1. JAR salads. Seriously awesome and endless possibilities.
      2. Sandwiches and/or homemade soup that has been frozen
      3. If things get hectic/I’m lazy, tortilla chips with either an avocado or a store-bought chicken salad (my local co-op makes a really good curry one)

    • CommaChick

      I make what I jokingly call the kindergarten lunch. I have my sandwich [usually peanut butter and jelly, but I mix it up], fruit [usually an apple or grapes – nothing too messy], gold fish and a juice box.

    • Sarah E

      My husband is really good about packing. A few years ago, he switched from sandwiches (made every day, and lunch meat costs $$) to cooking porkchops and frozen veggies. It’s not a meal I would go for, but it’s really really cost effective. He cooks five chops and microwaves all the frozen veggies one night, then cuts them and divvies them up into containers. Every morning is just grab-n-go.

      I’m more of a leftover person, though sometimes I’ll plan ahead and make egg salad or something else just for lunch. I do best when I have staple snacks: Clif bars, dried fruit, cheese and crackers. We eat pretty much the same things week after week, which works great for us– the less I have to think about it, the more likely I am to reach for the healthy snack at a decent time.

    • E.

      I bring my lunch every day since I can’t leave. We double dinner every night and pack our lunches as we’re cleaning up. We always have a few trader joes frozen meals stashed for just in case. What really helps is I plan our meals each week, we cook almost every night, and if I know there’s going to be a night when we’re not cooking I try and make extra leftovers from a previous dinner so it lasts for more than one lunch. During grad school I also used to make mass batches of burritos and freeze them individually, then add some fruit or nuts to make it a full lunch.

  • Anon

    Its such a hard balance. I’ve done the gamut; no refined, no added at all, even cutting out fruit and grains for short periods of time to “restart” my body and reduce cravings. Right now I just can’t stomach being restrictive, so I’m trying to just keep it to things I have at home. But I definitely have more energy when not on a blood sugar roller coaster, and I think there is a connection between blood sugar levels and adrenal issues, which cause my anxiety. My dr. determined I have adrenal fatigue, one sign was hypoglycemia. I think it is definitely worth examining how your body reacts to sugar and how reliant you are on it, but it can so easily cross over to unhealthy eating patterns on one side of the spectrum or the other.

  • I’ve been off and on Primal lifestyle the past 6 years, so I can so relate to your carb flu Meg. It sucks but once your body adjusts to not running off sugar, you feel great. The first time I went Primal, I dropped 50 pounds in like 4 months. Now that my morning sickness is under control, I’m going back to that lifestyle – lots of healthy fats, protein, and veggies with some limited fruit thrown in. I feel like when I eat that way and move my body, I feel at my best.

    Edit: My biggest struggle is my husband! He hasn’t ever met a carb he didn’t like and he loves bringing donuts, cookies, and pop into our house. When it’s not here, it’s easy for me to avoid, but when its just staring me in the face….*sigh*

  • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

    We closed on our house this week! It was completely surreal, and I almost fainted at the bank but was able to compose myself. XM’s yacht rock station helped me calm down. I’m so in love with the house!

    • Not Sarah

      Yay house!! I’ve been in my condo four years now and I love it! We do debate whether we would prefer some more space though…

  • LindseyM

    Hi All! Just thought I would post in case anyone is bored at work and wants to look at the three wedding venues we are choosing between… The pictures aren’t that great since the wedding industry is a bit more informal overseas. We unfortunately can’t visit in person because work, but my parents are going in three weeks and are going to do all the tastings and stuff for us. Option 1: https://www.facebook.com/estacionfatima, Option 2: https://www.facebook.com/Estancia-La-Linda-eventos-138889809472437/, Option 3: https://www.facebook.com/FincaMadero. I’m so ready to have a venue chosen. Even though we’re a Wednesday wedding so there is no rush to book, I’ll just feel a lot better once we’ve settled that.

    • Amy March

      They all look great!

  • Sarah

    I went sugar free a few weeks ago. Broth helps with withdrawal and cravings. Up your salt intake and drink more water. Eat high protein foods with healthy fats, and it will keep you full in between meals. When i want something crunchy to snack I’ll grab a few nuts or seaweed snacks!

  • emilyg25

    Two weeks ago, I realized I had two vacations days I needed to use before July 1. One day I sent my son to daycare, and then went out to breakfast, ran some errands, bought myself fancy tacos and a margarita, and went to the movies alone. Yesterday, my husband and I went to Philadelphia and visited the Barnes, ate banh mi and had fabulous donuts and gelato. I highly recommend taking advantage of daycare to have a date day. We didn’t have to pay extra for a babysitter or stay out too late, and the museum was practically empty! Such a nice way to reconnect.

    • scw

      yay for the barnes! banh mi, donuts, and gelato are three of the things I eat most commonly in this city.

      • emilyg25

        I adore Philadelphia.

    • Sparkles

      I’m a SAHM, but I have a wonderful friend who takes my son one morning a week. I use the time to go grocery shopping as slowly as I want to. It’s the best. Also, saves my sanity for the rest of the week.

      • emilyg25

        I feel like you don’t get how luxurious grocery shopping can be till you’re a parent.

  • Emily

    I heard about the book *Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time* here–not sure who suggested it. I started it last night and I am hooked… the first chapter so describes how I feel! Thank you for suggesting it, whoever you are!

  • Poppy

    I’m kind of stressed and mad about my wedding outfit, and it’s bumming me out. I chose a two-piece outfit and I still love the top which fit perfectly, but the skirt has given me a ton of grief. The (very simple) alterations cost more than double what the shop that sold me the outfit said they would cost. The seamstress I took the skirt to who has a fantastic reputation told me the material, while high quality, is both heavy and delicate and therefore can’t be bustled. I really love the train and didn’t want to cut it off completely, so I had decided that I’d just get myself a badass pair of white pants to change into when the dance party starts for real, even though I never wanted to be a two-outfit bride.

    Well, I just got the skirt back after having it hemmed and taken in a tiny bit at the waist and it turns out that I can’t dance in it at all as long as there’s no bustle. It makes me feel sad since my dude and I have been taking dance lessons we were excited about our first dance. He’s supportive but not completely enthusiastic about the pants, and I wonder if it would take away from the moment for us if I switched into pants before our first dance. Other options I’ve brainstormed – try to find another less qualified seamstress who will bustle the skirt, however badly; buy another long skirt with no train, that I’ll then have to match to the top and get hemmed. I’ve sunk so much more money and time into this than I’d wanted to already and I think that’s what’s fueling my frustration and disappointment right now.

    • emilyg25

      How long is your ceremony and when is your first dance scheduled? We did our first dance to kick off dancing, so it was like two hours into our reception and we were ready to just party. Pants would have been cool then.

    • C

      What is this fabric made of that makes it so delicate but also heavy and therefore un-bustle-able? I make costumes for professional dancers and we regularly build costumes out of all kinds of fabrics and expect them to last up to 30 performances in a run.

      I’m picturing that it’s a kind of heavy silk satin or something that would put a lot of strain on whatever button-and-loop or tape rigging is usually used to bustle a dress, and she’s afraid it will look bad and/or tear out during use? I’d imagine that adding a bunch of twill tape ties and reinforcing the heck out of all of the attachment points with Canvas would be secure enough to get you through a five-minute-long first dance (though I don’t do bridal and I haven’t seen your dress so YMMV).

      I’d take it to a different seamstress – maybe someone who makes clothes for performance, not apparel – and ask them to make it bustle-able, as long as you are okay with it maybe not looking exactly as it would in a bridal shoot for Vera Wang! I’d hate for you to miss out on your ideal first dance experience if there is another solution!

      Good luck!

      • Poppy

        Thanks, this really helps! Knowing more about how clothing is made is just one more skill I wish I’d had going into this process.

        I definitely do NOT care if the bustle looks especially great or holds all that well. I’ll go looking for another seamstress I suppose…

        • Hannah B

          where are you located?

    • Lawyerette510

      What about having a loop or two added that you put around your wrist for the first dance. A friend had a dress that bustling wasn’t an option but the seamstress sewed a loop in the lining of the train, and then my friend was able to walk around and dance while having that over her wrist.

      • Jess

        I’ve seen this with friends that didn’t want to bustle. It works out great!

  • CommaChick

    My Australian friends told me that to them, American bread is just like cake. It tastes so sweet to them. Apparently we have a lot of sugar in our bread that other countries don’t.

    • Sparkles

      We have a lot of sugar in things everywhere. It’s pretty crazy, actually. I’ve been trying to eat much less processed food over the past several years and it’s really wild how sweet things taste when you’ve been cooking for yourself. Sweet and salty. Too much of both.

    • Jess

      OTH, I found lots of Australian condiments to be waaaay sweeter than American counter parts. Peanut butter and catsup were two of the sweetest down under!

  • Content about weight and dieting is hellllllla uncomfortable to me, and I’m sad that so much comment space on this week’s Happy Hour is dedicated to that.

    On the plus side, I guess it’s good to be reminded that eating disorder recovery never ends?

    On the actual plus side, I marched in the San Francisco Dyke March last weekend after going to a really lovely Pride BBQ hosted by friends of dear friends. I don’t do a lot of socializing that involves large crowds of people — just not my thing — but being surrounded by people wishing each other Happy Pride soothed my heart in a way I didn’t even know I needed.

  • LP

    We bought a house we bought a house we bought a house!!! So excited!!!

  • MK

    Hello APW! After reading daily for probably 6 years (!), referring friends to articles, Happy Hours, etc — but never commenting, tonight something shifted in me and I’m joining the conversation. It definitely has something to do with the fact that my wedding is in 6 weeks tomorrow (!), and we’ve been engaged for almost a year-and-a-half, so ok, whoa, here we go! I’m a PNW gal, and I love this community and feel really close to it even though I haven’t been participating actively in it. I’m looking forward to doing just that.

  • BefWithAnF

    Guys, I have a terrific new plan for affording my wedding- I’ll just get my father to defraud the government! (Remember while reading this article that NY is credited as having the most corrupt state government in the USA. Hooray!)

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/06/17/nyregion/the-wedding-was-quirky-now-the-government-is-submitting-its-bill.html

  • Jenna

    I cut out sugar for a month last year and while I think it was something I learned from, I realized it’s not worth it for me. It was pretty much misery and compensating for the lack of sugar by eating other unhealthy things instead. What I learned is that dessert is very habitual for me. Since cutting out sugar for a month, I have realized that it’s good to be more intentional about enjoying a piece of cake, so I eat it because I want to and have been looking forward to it and not just because it’s in front of me. But ultimately, I just love all forms of dessert, and my life is happier when I get to eat them.

  • SarahATX

    I am also trying to limit sugar, especially in terms of treats (if some is included in my favorite BBQ or dressing, I’m trying to be relaxed about it). On the flip side, I’ve been enjoying more high fat treats like avocados and some almond butter and eating lots of fresh fruit. But the best thing has been to make popsicles with coconut milk and some fruit. You get the cold and the creamy without the sugar.

  • So happy and thankful for all the great opinions on this thread! Eat well and enjoy a balanced life is what I try to do but it can be challenging reading rave reviews about paleo/wholefood/raw/vegan/etc and feeling like I’m not doing the right thing.
    I also don’t like how these diets are expensive and often using ingredients that have some serious food miles on them by the time they make it to the store. I want to eat food that is fresh in season and local where possible.

  • Loran

    Hi Meg – I have done this for medical reasons for my spine injury (short simple version is maintaining my blood sugar helps me decrease inflammation and keeps me off the painkillers). I find when the craving is just too much, dark chocolate is the way to go – it has less sugar than milk chocolate or white chocolate and more happy making chemicals so a little satisfies more. Also, if you do have a pastry or something, try pair it with a protein (nuts, cheese, seeds, lean meats, lentils, beans) and to get one with cinnamon both of which help control the blood sugar and keep you from repeating the vicious cycle of peaks and valleys that lead to those cravings. Also drink water and eat small meals more often always with some form of protein.

  • Mark

    After contacting plenty of fake hackers to help hack my wife’s account, which of cos i was swindled I finally decided to calm down and search for one myself. Then i came across this fantastic and ethical blackhat.hacksolutions@gmail.com I can say i’m much more fulfilled. Contact him today. Thank me later.