The Whole MaryAnna (is back!)

She’s back! I couldn’t be more thrilled. Good luck MAryAnna!

Oh hey guys, it’s me, MaryAnna. Remember me? The lady who said she could not imagine going back to the life she had before Whole 30? I think I even said, with great confidence, that I had “zero desire to go back to where I was 32 days ago”. Turns out I’m a bit of a liar – a liar to myself and to y’all. Oh how quickly the reintroduction phase became my old life. A cheat meal, turned into a cheat day, which turned into a cheat week, which turned into complete food complacency. Not only did I welcome back my old habits, I welcomed them back with open arms. The mind is a f*cked up thing. A beautiful thing, but a f-ed up thing. It’s amazing to me that I could remember how incredible I felt on Whole 30, but could not stop eating Peanut Butter M&M’s and Twizzlers. If anything, I felt desperate in my need to eat sugar – as if my body was afraid that I would take it away again. That sugar dragon is a mean, vindictive, strong willed dragon.

I have been saying for almost two months that I was going to start the Whole 30 again. My first justification for delay was a good friends’ wedding. Then it was the end of the school year. Then it was going to New York for a week. Then another wedding. Excuse after excuse after excuse. I felt let down by myself. Where did the empowered, healthy, confident woman go? I know she’s in me – I’ve seen her!

Hindsight is, indeed, 20/20. I should not have stopped to reintroduce foods. I felt FANTASTIC. Since my total collapse back into my old habits, I have gained back 4 pounds, have achy joints and have pretty consistent headaches. I sleep terribly, am cranky, moody, and constantly rely on external sources for energy. My anxiety seems worse than it has been in a long time, I currently have a cold, my food remorse is vicious, and I CRAVE sugar. I crave sugar to the extent that it is often the first thing I think about in the morning.

I am starting the Whole MaryAnna. Not the Whole 30. Not the Whole 60. The Whole MaryAnna. I am sticking with the Whole 30 for 30 days and beyond in order to be happy and healthy both mentally and physically. No cheats – only choices. I truly believed that I could fix the relationship I had with food in 30 days. For 34 years, I have maintained a pretty consistent unhealthy relationship with food – why I thought I could fix in 30 days what I had taken 34 years to construct, I don’t know. Hindsight.

I have been debating getting an arrow tattoo … but, for now, have ‘settled’ for an arrow ring as a reminder that an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. A reminder that when life is dragging me back, it means I will be launched into something great – my job is to focus and keep aiming.

My focus is on me. On the Whole MaryAnna.

Come follow my journey – – thewholemaryanna on Instagram

Cameron is 6!




Dear Cameron,

Happy 6th Birthday!  We are so happy to have such an amazing kid.  You are so awesome.  Here is what we love about you most:

1.  You are so smart and studious.  You absolutely love school and learning.  The past few months you learned to read, and every time you read Mommy a new book and sound out some new, hard words, I cry.  You work so hard on having very good handwriting, and you love working in the Kindergarten workbook we have at home.  In the car, you ask us math problems and you like us to ask you too.  We hope you stay this way forever!  School is cool and so are books and reading!

2.  You are kind.  You have a sensitive spot in your heart for everybody and everything.  Mommy thinks we might be raising a little animal rights activist.  You heard on the San Diego news about some of the “stuff” surrounding orcas and Sea World.  You asked me to explain, and then proceeded to tell me that Sea World people need to sit in time out and figure out what they are doing wrong because you want the orcas to be happy.  (Couldn’t have said it better myself).  You truly care about your brothers and family.  Just the other day you were so worried that your brothers wouldn’t have any presents to open on your birthday, so we had better get them a present too.  Your kindness shows to everyone you meet, and you help make everyone’s day a little brighter because of it.


3.  You are a great friend.  Also, you make friends wherever you go.  We went to the park last Sunday night.  You made two new friends.  We went back to the park for the next two nights, because you wanted to bring your new friends some different sand toys to play with.  I am pretty sure we have NEVER been to a park where you didn’t make a friend for you and your brothers to play with.

4.  You are athletic.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you amaze me when you swim in that pool!  You love swimming!  I can’t believe that you already know the butterfly stroke.  It’s amazing.  And you are good at it.  Also, you had to go to a skills test for the soccer league here in California since we are new to the league.  Daddy and I were a little nervous because you didn’t play soccer in the spring, and you kind of goofed around last fall.  Oh my goodness!  You did great!  You are so fast, and you were aggressive!  We love to watch you play and swim.  Also, you might be the fastest kid in Southern California.  Holy mackerel, can you run fast.

5.  You are artistic!  This is just starting to show, but you are starting to draw me little animal pictures and “decorate the letters” that you write.  You drew a picture the other day of you beating Daddy at soccer.  You love to paint, color and draw.  Mommy is so happy that you love to do this kind of thing, and hope that it stays around forever.

6.  You are a jokester.  You love to trick Mommy and Daddy and tell jokes.  You have a great sense of humor that leaves your entire family laughing and smiling.  The funniest thing you said recently is when you were talking to your Nana about spending the night at her hotel.  She asked you if you wanted to sleep by yourself, or with her or Papa John.  Your answer was so awesome.  You said, “I prefer to sleep with women when I am not at my home.”  Hilarious.  You are hilarious.

Cameron, we love you so much.  We are so excited for your new kindergarten adventure, and we can’t wait to see what you do this year.  We love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssssssssssss BIG!


Love, Mommy and Daddy


Photo Creds too:  Renee Hindman Photography

She vs. He – A Day in the Life of Two 5 Year Olds

I have a friend of a friend, Megan, who has kids almost exactly (just a few weeks/months apart) the same age as mine and they live about an hour North of us.  One day, I was probably up to eyeballs in “boy mom” stuff (read:  talking about poop, farts, pee, butts, animals, trains and dinosaurs), and thought it would be awesome to do a day in the life with Cameron and Megan’s daughter, Erin.

It turned out great.  Megan and I had a little plan for the day, but without talking too much, our pictures turned out shockingly similar.  Crazy similar.  Almost scary similar.  Without further ado, A Day in the Life of Cameron and Erin in pictures and captions by their Mommy’s.


Erin SleepingSleeping beauty surrounded by all of her “friends”.  She says she doesn’t like to be alone.

Cam SleepingCam and Kiki.  

Cam vs. ErinShe like to start her day snuggled up on the couch with a show.  Today it was ‘Martha Speaks’, about a talking dog.

Cam vs. ErinCameron starting his day on the iPad watching some ‘Wild Kratts’, about two brothers who turn into animals.

Cam vs. ErinWe were a bit rushed this morning so she had cereal (with more Hello Kitty).  Usually she asks for eggs, pancakes, and sausage every morning.

Cam vs. ErinLate morning for us.  Cam had to eat breakfast in the car.  Dry cereal and a organic strawberry fruit strip.

Cam vs. ErinOff to school with Daddy!  Ready to take on the day, with more Hello Kitty.

  Cam vs. ErinHeading into school.  He was frustrated with me because I made him wet down his crazy curls before school.

Cam vs. ErinShe got in the car after school and said, “Can I take my headband out now?  I need to flip my hair.”

Cam vs. ErinMy almost 6 year old sucking his fingers with his Kiki.  Sigh.

Cam vs. ErinCam’s swim lesson got cancelled for the evening, so I made a pillow and blanket pool for them to jump into.

Cam vs. ErinFirst swim lesson of the season!  Setting a good example for her little brother who was really nervous.

Cam vs. ErinThis little fish LOVES the water and her instructor.

Cam vs. ErinTaking a dip in the hot tub to warm up after her lesson.

Cam vs. Erin  Lounging pool-side with a special lollipop and treat.  This is the life.

Cam vs. ErinDaddy’s home!  Time to wrestle.

Cam vs. ErinTacos for dinner.  The child ate four tacos.  Somebody please send money for high school.

Cam vs. ErinQuick dinner at her beloved Subway before and Adventure Princess meeting.  Turkey avocado with pepper jack cheese.  Such a Cali girl!

Cam vs. ErinTaking a bath at the end of the evening.  He specifically requested “Sweet Pea smell bubbles”.

Recent Social Media Inspiration

I am a crazy person when it comes to social media.  I follow so many people/places/establishments on Instagram that it’s embarrassing.

But, from this weird obsession habit, I get tons of inspiration.  Tons.  Quotes, beautiful pics, things I want to make, things I want someone else to make, etc.

So every few weeks, I am going to round up what is inspiring me through social media.  I usually just screen shot what I like and then go back and try to pin it later.  So here are lots and lots of screen shots.

(Photo Creds:  The screen shot USUALLY includes the Instagram screen name, if not, I’ll do my best to link up.)


Such a great idea for scrapbooking!  Maybe at the beginning of Cam's Kindergarten scrapbook.

Such a great idea for scrapbooking! Maybe at the beginning of Cam’s Kindergarten scrapbook.

Someday I will have this Jennifer Meyer "evil eye" necklace.

Someday I will have this Jennifer Meyer “evil eye” necklace.

Love.  I want to make flower crowns for the day I get to go with my niece's to the Princess Tea at Disneyland.

Love. I want to make flower crowns for the day I get to go with my niece’s to the Princess Tea at Disneyland.

I want all of these books.  I already have a few.  Follow #hodgesdesign - really great home inspiration.

I want all of these books. I already have a few. Follow #hodgesdesign – really great home inspiration.

Funny.  Have no idea where this came from, but it covered the interwebs a few months ago.  I think I screen shotted it from Ellen Degeneres.

Funny. Have no idea where this came from, but it covered the interwebs a few months ago. I think I screen shotted it from Ellen Degeneres.

Love notes to and from your kids?  Count me in.

Love notes to and from your kids? Count me in.

When you copy other peoples "original" scrapbook layouts, it's informally called scraplifting.  I would like to scraplift this, stat.

When you copy other peoples “original” scrapbook layouts, it’s informally called scraplifting. I would like to scraplift this, stat.