life lessons

Two Meatballs: Aller-GEEEEEZ!!!!

Sara here!!! (Don’t worry, it’s both of us later on in the post!!!)  About 5 years ago I went and had an allergy test.  The kind where they prick your skin and then you look like a sheet of those candy dots all day!?!  It was fascinating and only mildly uncomfortable.  If you don’t know me yet…I love trying something new even if it hurts or is gross or tastes terrible or ends up being the living worst idea, I live for the experience and the knowledge!  This was no different.  It turns out that I am allergic to mold, dust, grass and most trees!!!  This made so much sense!!!  My Apple grandparents lived in Little Washington near the Pamlico Sound and this town is riddled with mold!!!  Its basically sea level so there is no avoiding it and literally every time I would go there I as a kid wanted to itch my nose clear off my face.  It was always a sick trigger which sucked bc it was also the funnest place ON EARTH!  Anyways with this new found info, I was told I should try immuno-thearpy where they shoot you up with small doses of what you are allergic to in the hopes that you will build up a tolerance.  With where I was in my life then and with my long hours at work, I just couldn’t/didn’t want to make it work.  Instead, I started taking Allegra daily and during high allergy/season change season, I had a nasal spray and two inhalers #areyousoturnedon!? which worked for awhile.  Well, it has popped up again and my mold allergy seems to be the root of my breathing issues!  First let me say, it is a relief to have a new avenue to go down.  Nothing that I took for my lungs was really working and it turns out my lungs were just the loudest byproduct of my intolerance to mold!  And with the upcoming season change, I need to be ready!!! I want to change my relationship with mother nature as I love her so much.


So whats a gal to do you ask!?!  Well, step one: make my house a safe haven!  Since I don’t want to move to New Mexico, the second best thing I can do is have a very clean and healthy home environment.  This makes so much sense!!!  So, I had a specialist come in and check the house for mold and there was some!  It was in my bathroom and it isn’t a ton! Removal and repainting scheduled. Check!  Next I will have someone come in and check all the duct work, my hvac system and install a whole house dehumidifier and air purifier.  Also, I need to take out the carpets upstairs and swap to hardwood (home remodel…hgtv here I come!) and lastly, get some house plants as they are amazing and natural air filters!  I’m am pleased to introduce you to the newest members of the Beard clan:


This tall drink of water is Bill Murray and he lives in my den.  The second triangle shaped cutie is Gilda Radner #roseanneroseannadanna and she lives in my bedroom and lastly, this lanky leafy love is Jane Curtain and she resides in the kitchen!  These are my 3 most used rooms in the house!  Feeling better already.  Now Step 2:  Food.  I don’t think it is any secret that I have not been eating well for months now and I am fully aware that it is not helping my cause.  Bad food makes me feel bad and the weight that I have gained is only exhausting me more.  When you know what it feels like to feel good, moving in the opposite direction feels so much worse. #whenyouknowbetteryoudobetter Thinking about planning a meal, grocery shopping, cooking…it just seemed so exhausting and out of the question for awhile!  But my holistic chiropractor suggested that I go on a sugar elimination plan to achieve two things; one to rid my body of candida and two to see if I have any food allergies!  Spoiler alert, I’ve been on it one day and I can already tell cinnamon and cayenne pepper make it hard for me to breathe!  I love learning!!!  Jenny is going to join me!  We decided to go out with a bang and enjoyed a lovely sushi date together before the cooking segment!


Tasu has hands down the best Merry Role of life!  Then we got deep on the ride home and talked about the concept of focusing our time and energy into being more loving and kind to ourselves.  Then Jenny started writing yesterdays amazing post and I started cooking from our very restrictive list of new acceptable foods.  We can basically eat, chicken, turkey, cold water fish, most veggies (no tomatoes, potatoes, corn…etc) most fruits (no strawberries, bananas, oranges, grapefruit, etc) and then olive oil, coconut oil, unsweetened almond or coconut milk, no dairy, no eggs, it is a very interesting list!  But the guidelines are helpful since all hell has broken loose.  We can also have quinoa which is a fun change and brown rice.  So on the menu is a Quinoa Breakfast Bake in the crock pot and baked chicken and roasted veggies!!!  It actually feels great to be back in the kitchen and making healthy things to put in our bodies!


We always have fun together!


But we were a little rusty!!!  It always comes back quickly though!



As I was peeling the apple, I thought about my Apples!


It felt like a really positive way to connect and spend a thoughtful mental moment together.  They would want me to be healthy and to feel good and you know what they say…an Apple a day…#loveyouguys #missyalleveryday #appleofmyeye

My house smelled so good.  The breakfast porridge as I kept calling it cooked all night and waking up to apples and nutmeg simmering was heaven.  We had a date in my car this morning and enjoyed a hearty oatmeal like thing with more texture.  It was a little bland, more salt next time!



We are so cute!  Later I had the baked chicken which was crazy good and the roasted veggies which are always a hit for lunch!  For dinner I’m going to make a spinach and blueberry smoothie!  I feel so great!!!!  Step 3: Move ya body body!  Exercise has been the hardest thing.  I miss it.  I kept wanting to go back to Sandra.  But even Pure Barre was wearing me slam out.  So, our good buddy Theresa who taught us how to juice, is going to start beginners yoga with me this Saturday!!!  I could not be more excited.  This feels like a nice, low impact, spiritual way to get my body moving and get some energy out without draining all of mine.  I love a new beginning! #yinandyang


It is an 8 week series where they take you through all the poses and it sounds like exactly what the doctor ordered. I love love loved yoga with Lila so I know this will be a hit!


Yay for new friends and new adventures.  I feel so much more grounded and positive and present.  I also feel really relieved to be doing something again.  I was told that i can’t worry about losing weight until I heal myself and these three things seem like a great way to get started.  Thank you for not losing hope in us.  We have both had moments of doubt, but we both know from the bottom of our hearts that we will stay true to our journey, no matter the path and no matter the time.  Who knew you’d find out so much about yourself and the world by taking your clothes off, putting your weight on a chalkboard and putting it out for the world to see.  I now want to be healthy on so many more levels than the number on my scale.  I’m really looking forward to feeling better and finding some healthier outlets…cant wait to share it all.  Sending all my love and deep cleansing breathes of relief your way. Xoxo

Also, our great friend Lauren at Fleet Feet wanted to pass along an awesome opportunity to get healthy in a group and to learn how to get moving and reach that 1st mile.  Here is the info.


Two Meatballs: An Afternoon with Grandma Apple


I have written about her before, but for those of you who haven’t met Grandma Apple…she really is epic! Tuesday I wrote all about me and Kristina’s adventures in Little Washington with the Apples but did you know that both Kristina and I  lived with our grandparents while we went to hair school…both in one bedroom houses…for a year…and LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! My grandpa was still alive at this time and we had the living best time! Grandma would help me study for my test with flash cards but the answers were Medulla, Mandible or some other long, complicated nail disease.  I would say the answer and she would say..I have nooooo idea!!! hahahahahha She packed me a lunch everyday and would ironed my scrubs.  She even hemmed my pajama pants while I was sleeping bc she thought they were too long…#wherestheflood! She also insisted on doing my laundry and after three bleach washings I had all crotchless panties! #thanksgrandma


Last week out of the blue grandma called me which she never does and I happened to be next to my phone and answered it.  She has the cutest, sweetest voice and I got my gift of gab from her.  At first I was worried bc I knew she had had a violent stomach virus the week before and like I said she literally never calls!  I said how ya been and she said you know I’ve been better which was hilarious.  Then she said why don’t you come see me and bring me some tacos!!!  I nearly fell out…you just had the worst stomach virus the world has ever seen and you want MEXICAN FOOD?! Farttttttt….but I would do anything for this woman.  We have such an awesome connection and we always have.


So I road tripped it to Wilson where she now lives and walked in…two crunchy taco supremes in tow…to see this…


Janet Apple is COMPLETELY obsessed with The Big Bang Theory and more importantly Sheldon Cooper…banzinga!  But no really she has their tv schedule memorized.  I almost wet myself.  She told me all about how a buddy from church rigged their Secret Santa so he could give her this…she is soooo loved.  So onto lunch…


Look how happy!!!  She is the most pleasant human ON EARTH!  One thing to know about The Apple residence is that you have to bring your own food if you want to eat healthy! They have literally always had the cupboards , fridge, candy jar and freezer stocked with complete shit…which was super exciting as a kid but a slippery slope for this meatball!  So I came prepared with those spicy ass chicken legs from last week…


And this to save my life…


But here is a glimpse into her processed food world…


There is always a candy jar full of treats!  Grandma lives for peanuts, chocolate covered cherries, a “come” of ice cream, popcorn, saltines and milk, Hershey’s miniatures and peanut butter bread. I gained at least 20 lbs living with her…she used to make a pan of biscuits with every meal and we had a standing beer and pizza night!  She definitely feeds you with love…and high fructose corn syrup!  Anyway, I was not tempted in the least. Grandma Apple has always been concerned with my weight and used to find adorable little ways of putting us in the same boat so that we could “get healthy together” even though she is the tiniest human.  She is sooooo sweet.  So today when I walked in she said…how much have you lost and I said 42!!!  To which she responded…I want it to be 100! Hahahahahaha me too girl. I have always loved going to this woman’s house and not just for the endless buffet of terrible snacks!  She has such an appreciation for history.  She is a great story teller and archiver…there are one million picture scattered around her house of the family that she loves soooo much!


And on top of that 1000 photo albums!!!  Which is my personal heaven!!! There are crafts from loved ones…mostly my mom all around. The apple memorabilia is abundant.  When I was little I spent a week at my grandparents and when I came home I told my dad…grandma taught me how to spell my last name…I was only 3 or 4 so he said ok lets hear it.  I said A-P-P-L-E.  My grandma thought it was the funniest thing…bc my last name is Beard!!!


She has all my favorite books and games from childhood and being at her house is the living embodiment of childhood!  She would always let us play with everything and I certainly got my love of chintzy, colorful jewelry from this lovely lady…


I know that when I see her I will get some Grandma lectures and we will solve all the worlds problems.  I could talk to her for days on her swing and rocking chairs on the back porch.  She cracks me up, she is so bright and positive and fiercely loyal to her family. She had a flaming red puff ball of hair while I was growing up and I longed to be a redhead as well much to my own mothers dismay!  I idolized my grandma and I still do to this day.  We have been roommates at her house and every year at the beach and over the years we’ve become close friends…she trusts my advice and she knows I would do anything to help out. We’ve been through some tough times…Grandpa Apple passing, her sister losing her battle to cancer, Buddy Cat having to be put down and so much more but family heals all and  we’ve  been through so many more good times…so many family vacations, making little cities in the back yard, helping out with chores, graduations, sleeping on the back porch, going to the waterfront, laying out on the dock on the Pamlico Sound, singing MC Hammer with Kris on road trips, dancing to Iggy Azelia on the way to the beach, Unto These Hills and KOA campgrounds, watching PBS while they beg for money, watching family guy and king of the hill together, graduations, weddings, making Christmas candy with Kelly and Kris, 100,00 Heath Bar Blizzards from Dairy Queen, playing in the kitchen at the elementary school where she worked…but I know that the best is still to come!

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We used to watch 60 Minutes together every Sunday and during the intro when they say I’m Leslie Stall, I’m Ed Bradley, I’m Morley Safer…she would always say…annnnnnd I’m Janet Apple and then make the ticking clock noise!!!  This is one of the trillion reasons that I want to spend every waking minute with this sweet baby angel.  How lucky can one girl be!?!?  Grandma…you are the living best and I love you soooooooo much…no you hang up…no you hang up! #bestroomieever  #snnnnnnakes  #mush #oodlesofnoodles #heathblizzards #dominoesthegamenotthepizza #afghans #searscatalogue #rotaryphones #harlequins #paintbynumber #backporch #lifelessons #grandmaplaits #seemmelike #spitjar #badboysbadboyswhatchagonnado #Yankees #wheresmybelt #loveyoutoobob


Love you GiGi!