Struggling + Trying to Get Back on Track

Howdy all … I’ve been struggling lately, so I’m back at photographing my eats and posting them, hopefully once a day.

Envy apple with PB.

Moose shank roast with carrots, potatoes, and a dab of horseradish.

Veg with Catalina and Ranch …

An egg sandwich with Baby Swiss, butter, and jam … sooo good.

I had to take extra Hydroxyzine today due to a lot of anxiety. My manager at Express is giving me time off to visit Luke’s family for Christmas, but my manager at Eddie Bauer is balking … I understand it being a difficult time of year with people asking off, but Luke’s Grandmother Jean is throwing Christmas for the last time EVER, so it’s important that we go ….~ M


After the Fray of Black Friday

Oh my gosh, you guys. After a weekend full of selling clothing, doing freight, working at the register, and eating tons of pizza and candy (yeah, that’s how Black Friday rolls in retail), I’m needing to get back on track with eating veggies and lean protein and start hitting the gym after my teeny tiny hiatus, so that’s what this post is going to focus on this week – healthy food and working out.

Tasty Eats

My eats weren’t so healthy at first this week, and no, I didn’t document all of the pizza that I ate over the Black Friday weekend … probably 5 or 6 pieces? Ugh. But that’s fine, I needed sustenance to last on the damn sale floor for nearly 14 hours times two (Friday and Saturday). But back to my (healthy) meal plan which I started on Sunday ~

Meal Plan #1

Eggs with roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and red onion dressed in EVOO, honey, and balsamic vinegar (I’m becoming obsessed with that homemade dressing).

Raw cauliflower with low calorie honey mustard ….… a sandwich with a spot of ranch.Meal Plan #2

Two eggs with two slices of honey wheat toast spread with butter and jam.

Fresh salad with chicken breast …Greek yogurt with strawberries and honey. 🙂

My “after work out” dinner – chicken, salad greens, light honey mustard and ranch dressing, pickles, heirloom tomato, and a sprinkle of bleu cheese … yum!

Meal Plan #3

Greek yogurt with banana and golden kiwi + a drizzle of honey.

Chicken with fresh greens, pickles, broccoli, a bit of bleu cheese, and jalapeno ranch and honey mustard …

New York strip with spinach, Brussels  sprouts, a few pickles, radishes, and honey mustard dressing. (I ate the veggies and about half of the steak.)Black Friday/Birthday Purchases

Eddie Bauer Women’s Evertherm Down Hooded Jacket in Dark Berry

I officially spent about $115 of my b-day money on this jacket today – it’s WARM AF and light as a feather. If you know me, you know that I’m always cold … this should do the trick for the rest of fall and then winter. I decided on a size large because of how narrow these jackets are in the shoulders – usually I’m a small or an x-small at Eddie Bauer, but I sized way up for this cute look. I also chose the jacket with a hood for windy days – these do come without hoods.

(Don’t ask what I’m doing with my hand here.)

Eddie Bauer Printed Women’s Trail Tight Leggings

I have these, and although small fits fine, I like the roominess of the medium (my hips are 35″ for reference). These are also long enough!

Express Drinks List Boyfriend Corset Tee

Free People Heart Strings Tunic in Mahogany Free People Olivia Midi Dress

Free People Serefina Rhinestone Dangle Earrings


(Why yes, I am wearing my Evertherm jacket as a house coat in this picture with my fresh-faced-ness and Calliope kitty.)

~ M


On Serina

Since a few people have asked, I want to be candid – we had to re-home Serina-pup through the ASPCA (the no-kill shelter here, I’d rather die than take her to the pound). She just seemed very unhappy in the apartment with us, and ultimately, we shouldn’t have gotten her … but hindsight is always clearer, no? And sometimes hardships turn into blessings! I called to check on Serina’s status on Friday, and she has a new home with a yard, and she’s thriving.

So good came of the situation after all. Pup has a home where she’s thriving … I have two jobs which I adore and keep me busy and more mentally stable then I’ve been in decades (plus I bring in a little extra spending $$ which is lovely). I also quit vaping for good too! Huzzah!

~ M

The Days Leading Up to Thanksgiving

Hey guys, here’s a really quick check-in before Black Friday and Saturday retail working madness!


Oh, you guys, I *finally* got that Town Club membership, and Luke and I joined our friend Marc for an arm work out on Wednesday night ~ this pic is blurry as shit, and I apparently need to wear a different bra to workout in, ha, but it was a GREAT workout!

I can’t wait for the retail rush to be over so I can relax and do more lifting! 🙂

Tasty Meals

Y’all, after looking at my eats for this week, I’ve decided that I’d like to cut the dressings/fat and replace with something better, such as a drizzle of balsamic and EVOO, and I need to cut back on *some* portions, like the chicken breast in some of my salads. Easy goals, easy goals.

On Monday, I tried a popular “salad for breakfast” … surprisingly, I liked it! Yes, I ended up eating mostly the eggs and toast (I had the rest of my salad for lunch, shhhh!), but I think it’s a solid trend.

On Monday night, Luke and I decided to try something new, so we ate at the newly built House Divided Amarillo on Hillside. We went in with high expectations, and we ordered the Mexican Loaded Fries with Taco Meat …

… and the Texas Philly Cheese Steak with a side of okra and macaroni and cheese.

No offense, House Divided, but you’re really going to have to step up your seasoning and presentation game if you’re going to last in this trendy and upscale area of town. Seriously, all of the food tasted bland (salt and pepper helped), and the macaroni and cheese tasted like a lunch lady made it. Boo. But House Divided does get a few minor points for having good fried okra.

Will we go back? Doubtful. I can fix food better than this at home, and when I go out and pay a place to make my food, I expect it to be better than what I can make. On the ABC grade scale, I give House Divided a sound ‘D.’

Luke and I ate Thanksgiving Lunch at Outback with Mom a day before Thanksgiving – I didn’t snap any pics, but we ordered the Seared Peppered Ahi to share (sooo delicious), and I had a side salad with both ranch and honey mustard and The Bloomin’ Burger. Y’all. I love The Bloomin’ Onion, and as you might imagine, the bloom sauce and the onion strings on a burger was just …. *drool.*


I’m wearing the Side Stripe Fitted Ribbed Sheath Dress, available here at 50% off, from Express. I’m wearing a small, am 5’10” and about 150 lbs. Alrighty, see ya on the other side of Retail Hell this weekend!

~ Mandy

Lately: Food + Working + Fashion

Hey there, my friends! I’m trying a new format on the blog today … hope you enjoy because I’ll probably be employing it often. 🙂

Tasty Meals

Egg ‘n’ toast, egg ‘n’ toast!

On Friday, I texted Luke about how hungry I was at work! He responded “Let’s meet at Torchy’s Tacos at 2 when you’re off!” … I started drooling immediately. We shared the Hillbilly Queso, and we both ordered two Trailer Park Tacos (TRASHY, OF COURSE!). The green chiles were especially delicious on them, and oh that perfectly fried chicken and dressing!

On Saturday night, I was exhausted from working at Express, and we were direly low on food, so I just gave in and asked Luke if he’d like pizza. I ordered two pizzas from Papa John’s – a custom with pepperoni, beef, mushroom, and black olive, and I wanted to try the BBQ meats one (although I added a few more veggies). And yes, I had more than one piece – the pic below was just my starter. 🙂 We *rarely* have pizza, y’all, band this was simply a last-ditch effort to have something easy for dinner.

(While waiting for the pizza, my kitty friend Calliope was wanting attention!)

Honeycrisp + PB

And, of course, one cannot live without a bite of sweet, gooey goodness. 🙂

Working Gal

One downside to working retail? Your feet hurt! I stupidly wore some heels that rubbed my toes and heels, thus creating dreaded blisters. It was AWFUL, y’all. I wore my Free People Laguna mules for a few days after the blister incident, and they allowed my poor heels to breathe … but soon I discovered that my damn toes were getting rubbed a bit too hard by the mules.

Desperate, I dug into my old shoe pile, armed with a pair of black socks. I figured that a sandal would be the best option for my blistered feet. SURPRISE! I discovered that, indeed, my practically unworn Kork-Ease platforms and my neglected white Anthropologie Sandro Rosi’s were just the ticket for my blisters. (And bonus, they make me 6’2″!)

Outfits and Fashion

Just a few What I Wore’s for ya …

And let’s face it, Express and Express Factory Outlet are having some *amazing* sales right now in preparation for Black Friday *ugh*- I snagged these two items for 40% off ~

The Side Stripe Fitted Ribbed Sheath Dress

Ornate Stone Earrings

More of my picks from Express include ~

Faux Fur Leopard Coat

The Cable Knit Split Back Pullover Sweater (SUPER CUTE with a bralette, I bought it in gray)

Faux Leather Leggings

The Ruffle Elastic Waist Wrap Dress (this runs a touch small)

And a personal favorite jean legging that I own and love is the High Waisted Perfect Jean Legging (and don’t worry, tall ladies, these jeans are long enough for me … if you’re 6’0″ and taller, you may need a size tall, but if you’re 5’10” to 5’11” like me, the regulars are a good length … one reason that I really love Express pants is that the regulars are long enough!)

And don’t forget about Eddie Bauer for sportswear and warm clothing – currently 40% off everything!

My picks from Eddie Bauer ~

The Women’s Microtherm 2.0 Stormdown Jacket

The Women’s Sandstone 2.0 Soft Shell Jacket (my fav color is Cinder)

The Women’s Movement Leggings

The Women’s Camp Fleece Sherpa Cardigan (perfect for lounging in style and comfort!)

And, of course, my personal favorite (I’m hinting for a Christmas or B-day gift, ha!) is the Women’s Trail Tight Leggings in Printed.

Now I don’t spend all of my earnings on clothing, ha! We have bills, just like the rest of the world. I’m just advertising what I think is fashionable and comfortable sold by the stores where I work. 🙂


~ Mandy


The Mysterious 150

Let’s discuss The Mysterious 150 … pounds, that is. That’s right. I currently weigh 150 lbs, ya see. HOWEVER. I’m not pissed off about it, as you might not have guessed! I look *so* different now, despite weighing nearly the same amount about 3 years ago!

So why do I look GREAT at 150 lbs instead of chubby? I honestly am pretty  dumbfounded (Luke is too, which is rare for Mr. P.A. Student/Weightlifting Fanatic). Perhaps it’s because I eat a ton of protein, perhaps it’s because the ED has faded (why yes, I had bulimia with anorexic tendencies when all of the old pictures below were taken … heavy people can have eating disorders, bitches! It’s actually VERY common, so don’t judge!), perhaps it’s because I’ve gained muscle and little fat in my recovery, perhaps it’s some supplements that I take, perhaps it’s because I’m not drinking so many empty calories … perhaps, perhaps, perhaps this and that. I simply don’t know the answer.

Here are some comparison pics to prove my case. This is me at about 155 lbs in January of 2015 (I was working at James Avery at the time) …

… at 158 lbs that summer …

… at 163 lbs … … and back to 158 lbs.


I look *sooo good* … yes, I need to tone up, but dayum!

Again, I honestly don’t know how this happened – I’ve only started lifting again very recently, so it’s not weightlifting that’s done it (perhaps?). I did lift heavily until this April and May-ish before I got stuck in the throes of the eating disorders again and had to go to Bellevue for treatment. Admittedly, I gained only 5 lbs in Bellevue (I came in weighing 135 and left at 140 on the dot).

Aaaaand after Bellevue, I simply stopped weightlifting. To be frank, I was floundering in my own miserable sea of boredom and uselessness and dumbass schemes until I decided to get a job in late October.

Now, of course, I have two jobs and am on my feet a goodly portion of the day. My outlook on life has changed from dreary to cheery. Surely feeling useful and chipper after a long bought of depression and despair (thank you, Bipolar I) has an impact on how our bodies change? I think so!

And I’m weightlifting now, and I’d like to get to 160 lbs to see what 10 pounds of muscle on my body looks like!

And that, my friends, is the Mysterious Case of the 150.

~ Mandy

Working Girl + Hitting a Goal Weight + This and That

Hey y’all! I have news – since I’m back to working now, I don’t always have the energy to post every day. However, I’m  going to try consolidating a few days into one post, as I’m doing today!

So how do I like working? I *really* enjoy it – I love my people at Eddie Bauer, and I love helping people with clothing and fashion at Express (I’m getting to know my peeps there too!). Yes, Black Friday and that Saturday will be BUSY for me – I work 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Black Friday, and the on Saturday I work 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.


I had a bowl of Greek yogurt with pumpkin swirled in, a banana, honey, PB, and cinnamon one day …. 🙂

… and then I had oatmeal – my usual mix of banana, pumpkin, and PB. Sooo good and very filling. 😉 Yes, I was  erring on the sweet side of breakfast as we were out of eggs (my absolute fav breakfast item).

On Monday, we were low on breakfast food, so I ate cinnamon sugar toast.

And today I ate three eggs with two slices of toast (with butter and jelly).


On Saturday, I enjoyed half of a chicken breast on a bed of spinach, cucumber, and with some bleu cheese and a drizzle of ranch and honey mustard. This lunch was ACE!

On Sunday, lunch was pretty straightforward – I had a Boar’s Head turkey sandwich with ranch and some celery with ranch and salsa (why yes, I like ranch, can’t you tell).

On Monday, I had some deer sausage with pepper jack cheese and mustard … easy peasy, I wasn’t all that hungry.

And then today, I had a lovely Greek salad (the kind that comes in the bag) with half of a BBQ chicken breast. A delicious and filling lunch for sure!

Work Outs

We did workouts on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at Verdure …

… but today, we went to the Town Club! Luke has a membership with the Town Club, and I do believe I’m getting one as well. Verdure is nice, but the equipment is lacking in the weights department, and to be honest, it feels less “serious” when it comes to lifting there (Luke’s words).

Here are some pics of me doing arms and back today 🙂 ~

And y’all. Guess what. I weighed myself at the Town Club for the first time in months, and I weigh 150 lbs! WHAT?! Luke said he would have guessed 135, and then he asked his friend Marc, who also guessed around there. I do believe that getting up and moving around at work is really helping me, plus going to the gym of course!

I mean, I’m 5’10,” I wear a size 4 pant at Express, and I find Express to run small in some styles (I’m either an XS or a S) – so clearly I’m not fat or anything. But most importantly, I’m feeling GREAT and am THRIVING! 🙂

Ultimately, I’d like to be a very muscular 165-170 lbs! Huzzah! GOALS, Y’ALL!

Post-Work Out

I had a pumpkin banana protein shake before I went to Eddie Bauer on Saturday …

… and several more protein shakes were consumed but not documented over the next few days.

Today, however, I had a  cucumber and some ranch. Yummy!I was getting munchy around 5:30 today, so I had some venison sausage with Baby Swiss cheese, ranch and honey mustard for dipping. Dinners

Saturday night’s dinner was a Boar’s Head sandwich with ranch. Our local Edes Meats makes these sandwiches and sells them exclusively at Pak a Sak, where hubs works. They are *good*! Edes also makes excellent salads. 🙂

And on Sunday, during the snowstorm, Luke fixed us a New York strip with bleu cheese and spinach … sooo good!

On Monday, I had a salad made with spinach, broccoli, turkey, baby Swiss cheese, and ranch dressing. Easy peasy …

… and then on Tuesday, I had avocado and egg toast. 🙂 I also enjoyed something new to me – a hybrid of an apple and a pear. It was gorgeous to look at, and it was yummy to eat!

Tonight I had another chicken salad with avocado, broccoli, BBQ chicken, and ranch and BBQ. So tasty!

Highlights Over the Past Few Days ~

1) Enjoying a beer after work …. you haven’t lived if you have never tried a beer after being on your feet for 8 hours.

2) Persephone had a Chinese Stand Off with Luke’s backpack one evening. It was literally the dumbest thing we’d both ever seen. Luke captured a picture of it … we just died laughing at the poor silly kitty!3) Caprica cuddles. Everyone should have an animal like Caprica in their lives. 4) My new necklace from Express! It looks like something you’d see on Game of Thrones. I’m in love!

5) I also bought a ton of clothes for 90% off (a perk if you start working there), so I’ll have some fashions to show off very soon! This is one lounge dress that I bought, and I adore the bell sleeves! Super fun.

Alrighty, that’s what I’ve got my friends! Peace, I’m out!

~ Mandy