Sunday Snaps 11-9-2014

Hi guys! As hopefully most of you know, we've been doing a Giveaway here on South of Vanilla for the past couple weeks for the chance to win a box of paleo cookies from Honey + Soul. Well, I'm excited to announce that the winner is.....

Manda Overturf Shank!

Congrats Manda! Keep an eye on your inbox for an email from me so I can get those cookies shipped to you ASAP! Thank you to everyone who entered! Hopefully I'll be able to do another giveaway soon!


Its been a crazy busy past 6 weeks guys. I know everyone says this, but I don't even know where the whole month of October went. Since the last week of September up until now, I've either been traveling like a maniac or have had guests stay with me, so I haven't had much time to myself. Combine all that with squeezing in regular recipe posts, training for a new PRN job (I'll provide details on that later), my checking account being hacked and some very mean person hitting up every online store in my name, trying to keep up with Crossfit, and then...oh wait, actually working without taking too much time off of work....

...I need a spa weekend or at least a huge slice of paleo chocolate cake. Or something.

BUT I did have some pretty amazing travels, including unreal fall foliage and scenery I saw in New Hampshire:

Don't worry, there will be a whole post dedicated to this trip, and I'll share more pictures with you then.

On top of all the craziness that has been the past 6 weeks, Christopher and I not-so-sanely decided to redo our bedroom. When we bought the house, we knew it was going to need a lot of work. Well, I was the one who decided it needed a lot of work. Even though it was functional (his opinion), it wasn't exactly fashionable (my opinion). So we started chipping away on the house bit by bit, and every single project has taken longer than expected. Like 3 times longer. Redoing the kitchen was really important to me, for obvious reasons, but redoing the kitchen on a tight budget has been more of an exercise in creativity than anything else. Its still coming along, and there are still some things we need to do, but here's a little preview:

Love me some sunshine yellow <3

Love me some sunshine yellow <3

Anyway, it all started with a laundry hamper- the bedroom redo, I mean. Yes, we're back to the bedroom. It started with a laundry hamper. Our bedroom has been essentially a room with a bed, some curtains Christopher's mom gave us, and one picture frame on the wall. That's it. Completely undergrad-esque. This week, I had a enraged and panicked moment when I decided that it was totally and completely unrealistic that two grown people with full time jobs and years of traveling around the world and advanced degrees were sleeping in such a room that didn't even have a proper place to throw dirty clothes. Up until now, we've been using this strange mesh and wire dirty laundry contraption that I'm pretty sure Christopher had back when he was still in law school. It is that. cool.

So after that mini-meltdown, I proceeded to go to 4, yes 4, home stores looking for a laundry hamper that really resonated with me. (Did I really just say that out loud? Yep. Of all the things to care about…) After all those stores and 2 days, I finally found one that I loved, and wasn't over-the-top feminine. Once I brought that home, I realized that the walls really needed to be painted, and the room really should be decorated to match the paint. That then started an hour (ahem, four hours) of browsing on Pinterest for ideas, when I then decided that our bedroom was going to be decorated in the theme of tan, black, white, and gold. Which sounded great to me, but the I realized that we didn't really have anything in the bedroom to go with that theme (or any theme, really), which meant that I needed to do some shopping, but I really couldn't because my checking account has been put on hold due to those aforementioned debit card hackers. So that’s when Christopher said “Hey, why don’t we go to Hobby Lobby to get some crafting stuff for the bedroom? You can have whatever you want, my treat.”

Swoon.

So that was that, and now I am happily chipping away on doing crafty stuff, like this piñata painting I created as a nod to Christopher’s Hispanic heritage:

When I proposed this gilded bedroom idea to Christopher, he was so sick of hearing about the laundry hamper drama I created in my head, he blankly said "do whatever you want". Then, he left down to go to a conference, so I painted an accent wall in the bedroom gold.

Yep. Shiny, metallic, gold.

If I sound crazy, its probably because I am.

But what is an exhausted girl to do when a little respite is needed? Paint everything gold. That's the new answer for everything. Paint. It. Gold.

The infamous laundry hamper.

The infamous laundry hamper.

Doesn't it look good so far? #allgolderrythang

I may choose to post some posts on home repair stuff, but honestly, that may be a little premature, since I am definitely not an expert on anything that requires a drill bit or a level or a tape measure. Maybe some before and after pictures? That might be nice.

Totally random, and I'm not sure if you guys have noticed, but in almost all of my recipes, I use Himalayan pink sea salt instead of regular table salt. Have you ever wondered why? Here's a nice infographic:

OH. I started doing CROSSFIT. Strangely, Crossfit was something that I was never really interested in- I'm more of a goonalongrunandthinkaboutyourlifegirl in between doing some asanas in a really hot, humid room. But then, I hurt my sacroiliac joint from running too much, my beloved barre classes and spin classes just haven't caught on yet here in NM, and the thought of paying a monthly membership fee to sweat in air conditioning while watching The Real Housewives on an elliptical made me want to puke. So I joined Crossfit, which incidentally makes me want to puke sometimes, but in a different kind of way. I don't understand how I can run 13.1 miles, but sometimes can't keep up with the WOD. (Which is not a wad of paper, its actually an acronym for the Workout of the Day- Now you know.)

Crossfit has been really fantastic, mostly because I feel so much stronger, and I am getting an insanely incredibly workout in a fraction of the time I used to spend working out before. I go to classes 2-3 times a week, and walk away incredibly sore each time. I say this while now very humbly admitting that I started Crossfit only being able to lift the bar- and that felt heavy to me. Now, depending on the movement, I can actually put some weights on the bar, so I pretty much feel like a b.a....until I look around and the dudes lifting 300 lbs. next to me. Ok, not really 300. More like 220. But NBD. Its just 220 lbs.

The weather here in NM has finally, finally cooled down. Nights and mornings get chilly, and the past week, the mornings have been very chilly. The highs here have been hovering somewhere between the low to mid 60s, which suits me just fine, but my New Mexican peers aren’t handling it too well. My coworkers show up in the morning bundled in snow parkas and mittens, and I’m the girl bouncing around excitedly because I can finally wear my fall vests (#obsessed), and asking if anyone wants to finally have a bonfire. Needless to say, they think I’m a little nutty.

Leather leggings, chambray, and vests <333

Leather leggings, chambray, and vests <333

In other Paleo and food related news, I’ve got some exciting recipes coming at you guys soon, and I am thrilled to be able to share them with you in the coming weeks. (Make sure you’re subscribed to the blog.) Here’s a little sneak peak:

Cinnamon-Sage Sweet Potato Hash with eggs and Bulletproof Coffee

Cinnamon-Sage Sweet Potato Hash with eggs and Bulletproof Coffee


Paleo Marshmallow Fluff

Paleo Marshmallow Fluff


Kale and Green Chile Rice + Chicken Soup

Kale and Green Chile Rice + Chicken Soup

I can safely say that just by judging the aisles and aisles of Christmas stuff in almost every store I have visited since October 1st, the holiday season is now upon us. I've been trying to work on some Thanksgiving appropriate recipes to post before Thanksgiving, but it would be helpful to know what you all are looking for. Do you want more desserts? More breakfast? More pumpkin spice? How about Christmas? What paleo holiday recipes are you looking for? Cookies Peppermint? Ham? Please let me know! You can either comment on this post, or send me an email at southofvanilla@gmail.com! I am more than happy to work on stuff that I know you actually want!

Happy Sunday! Hope you all have a fabulous start to the week.

How gorgeous is this sunset I recently was lucky enough to snap? SO PRETTY!

How gorgeous is this sunset I recently was lucky enough to snap? SO PRETTY!