Falling for Fall

I figured I’d just share a few of my recent finds!

Aldi’s did not disappoint! From yogurt, to creamer & cream cheese there are lots of pumpkin spice yummies!

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We were in desperate need of some new (non chewed on) pillows, so Home Goods had these cuties!

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I saw this recipe floating around and my neighbor said it was super yummy in hot cider.  It’s the perfect sweet for an after dinner drink.  I bet it’d be yummy shaken with ice & served cold too!

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This color always makes me feel Fall.  I love a good red, and this is more like a red wine.

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I sent this to my hubby saying it reminds me of him!  He loves Summer as much as I do, but October (his birthday month) is his favorite time of year! He loves the spook, Halloween and all things Fall.

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He also found this photo and we are so blessed to live in a region where the trees really do look like this!  It’s honestly breathtaking and this photo made us smile.

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And let’s not forget Fall Fashion.  I have a whole Amazon storefront page of lust worthy items! From boots, booties, skirts, dresses, tops, sweaters—cozy and cute!

 

What are you falling for this Fall?

Currently

Watching: You Tube  I confess that yes, I have still been binge watching these meal prep videos, cleaning videos, housewife/momlife you tube videos! I honestly have picked up so many little tricks (Slow cooker liners!) and delicious recipes that it’s worth having them on in the background while I’m doing laundry, making beds, washing dishes, ya know the fun things in life!

Drinking: Chai Latte with Pumpkin Cold Foam. I hopped on the pumpkin spice train and am loving the iced soy chai with pumpkin cold foam from the Bux.  If you’re looking for less sweet, get only one pump of pumpkin, but if you wanna go crazy, enjoy the 2 pumps.

Wearing: Leopard Print. And I do love this leopard cardi from Amazon! It’s a bit of a different material, but it’s lightweight, buttons and perfect for these wacky Fall weather days! I sized up to a medium, as I feel like I have long arms.

Loving: Brooke started dance. She had so much fun! She’s in competition dance this year, so we have a lot to look forward to.  She’s got some sweet girls she’s friends with in there and loves every second of it! She already found out she’ll be doing a dance to Frosty the Snowman for a hospital to raise money.

Enjoying: My morning routine.  It’s been a whole week–wahoo! I’ve been setting my alarm for 6:00 am and pretty much getting right out of bed! I sneak downstairs, stir up some pre-workout, take my probiotics, & have some ‘do you time.’ I like to read one chapter of a leadership book (currently reading Mind Power) do my Start Today Journal & then I also make time to journal.  (My mood instantly improves after a few days of journaling!! Thank you again to Lindsay Preston, my life coach who truly helped me tap into my best self.)  I feel so much better after putting ME first in the morning to get my mind & heart right for the rest of the day.  It’s truly worth playing with!

Workouts: I’m back to the gym.  After a few months hiatus, I felt like I wanted to go back to the gym.  I loved being with the kids so much during the Summer and it was just so nice out, I didn’t want to be inside much! We were pretty active too, playing, riding bikes, walks…I have already done a Zumba class and even did some Beachbody on Demand right in the dumbbell area! I need to be told what to do but sometimes a whole class is too much.  It’s the perfect way to get out of the house, socialize a bit and get a quick (yet effective) workout in.  I love being back in a routine.

Reading: Fall Books for kids. I pulled out my Fall decor and have been letting Fall slowly creep in here and there.  I have seen some wonderful book recs on Instagram, so I decided to keep an ongoing list here so I could go back and see them and share them with you! I am excited to read them with my kiddos.

Laughing: Corny memesMy mom has always loved stupid silly jokes and I honestly do too.  I saw this goofy one the other day and shared it on her FB timeline.  I think laughter is truly the best medicine!

 

Weekend Review

We had such a great weekend! As always, it flew by super fast!

Friday I snuck out for some “do you time” and honestly enjoyed my mani/pedi like no other! It was a great ‘cheers to me’ for having an awesome Summer home with my babies, and an amazing feeling knowing they were both off and in school while I soaked my tired feet! I went with a Fall color, kind of like a red wine!

After that I ran some errands, met up with my boys for a working lunch at a park and we were home to meet Brookie off the bus before we knew it.

Saturday was a pleasant surprise, as I had made plans to attend a freezer meal workshop with my girlfriend Cathy, and assumed I’d bring the kids.  Joe decided it was his Saturday off and took them instead! It was so wonderful to focus on chopping the meats, fixing/bagging up some recipes and most importantly have some GIRL time, I was so grateful! This tasty Chai comes out soon and you betcha I’ll be ordering some!

Saturday called for a night out with my honey, and since the temps are cooler, it was time to bust out one of my favorite faux leather jackets!  Still rocking open toe shoes though.  Had to show off that pedi!!

We dined at a local favorite and it was so good! I hear comments from time to time about how many date nights we go on, but honestly it’s THE BEST THING for us.  I miss him when we don’t see each other a lot and with two dogs, two kids and a business, it’s pretty much vital we get this alone time.  We always have a good time no matter what we do or where we go!

I didn’t snap a photo of the pork belly special—we were starving!  The pork was outstanding and they served it with avocado mousse, melon, watermelon & cucumber balls–drooling just thinking about it!

This pizza was also scrumptious!! It was like a salsa verde on a pizza with a chorizo, cilantro–total party in our mouths.

As for Sunday we had places we should have gone, but our bodies said rest…so I spent the morning finishing up Big Little Lies and honestly relaxing all day.  It was heavenly! I was full of energy this Monday morning and attacked the day!

Happy September!

Tea with Me

If we were to sit down and have a cup of tea, I’d enjoy this kind! My bestie gifted me a “Sipscription” and this was one of the teas from Sipsby.  This one actually kind of tastes like coffee!

I’d have so much to tell you, since back to school just started!  Summer flew by, but I so enjoyed every stinking minute.  I sometimes wonder why I feel so much emotion though; even the change from Summer to Fall has me all weepy.  I know I love Summer the most, but I do enjoy our Fall weather.  When the trees all change it’s so pretty! I enjoy going for donuts and cider, pumpkin picking and all the slow cooker recipes!  Football, red wine and cozy fires are in my future and I’m not mad about it.

I’d probably tear up telling you all about my babies going off to school for another year.  I was a teacher, you see, so of course I know the value of an education, the mingling of like aged children and stimulating my kids’ minds is so important to me.  But selfishly, I miss them.  I miss the baby snuggles, the bottles, the sticky cheeks, the consumption of them needing me.  No, I don’t want more babies, but I think it’s normal to always have a feel of just wanting your babies just a little while longer.  Don’t get me wrong though, 4 & 6 is such a fun age! They are so sweet and innocent and get along pretty well for the most part. My husband and I keep saying how much know we will miss this phase too! I really had such a beautiful Summer with them.  Parenting is so crazy; I am so ready for bedtime and to sit down quietly, but gosh they grow so darn fast!

I’d tell you if Summer 2019 had a sound track, you’d find these songs on it!

Dancing With a Stranger, Calm Down, Git Up Dance, Old Town Road, Have you Ever seen the Rain, and it would conclude with Dreams–this song has come to me over and over and over again in August.  I would see the lyrics, “thunder only happens when it rains” and I heard it on Big Little Lies.  My husband randomly played it, and I’ve heard it come on several times on the radio.  Why?!?

If we were having a chat, let you in on a little secret—I may not watch TV, but I am known for binging on You Tube! I can’t help it, but I get sucked down a rabbit hole once in awhile. Lately I’m back on the wife/mom bandwagon and adore these two ladies!  How Jen Does itBeauty & The Beastons

I would fill you in on my manifestations.  “What you think about you bring about.” Thanks to a mastermind training, I’ve started really putting things out there and whoa—they do come back at ya!  Something as small as Joe and I talking about how we wanted a picnic table for the land, and we just wanted to find one…I was walking with the dog and someone had it out by the road. Score! Now we can have picnics or even a bonfire before it gets too cold!

I’d say that I am pretty pumped that I have done 37 workouts out of my 100!  I’m feeling so great and can’t wait to just keep going! It’s amazing what CONSISTENCY does.  I don’t love every workout but I get them done and that’s what counts.  30 minutes or less, there’s really no excuses.

I was also proud of myself for not buying all the things at Home Goods yesterday! I did scoop up a few new pillows for our couch, because Bailey, and all of the Fall Decor was so cute.  I cannot wait until I have our new home to decorate!

I’d admit that I still haven’t used my Instantpot.  I don’t know what my problem is, I’m like nervous or something?! I did use my slow cooker yesterday.  I did the old chicken breasts, cubed small potatoes, green beans, butter & a packet of Ranch dressing. I didn’t want to have to grab fast food after a late afternoon at my sister’s gymnastic’s center, so I prepped before we left. I felt like a total badass for having dinner ready when we walked in the door.  So, I’m giving myself some grace on the Instantpot.

I am pretty excited about some “DO YOU TIME” tomorrow.  With Joe’s work schedule and the kids back to school crazy, I haven’t done much for me. I have worked out, but I am excited for a few hours of daylight alone! I see a pumpkin cold foam iced chai latté in my future.

I’m looking forward to doing some Freezer meals with my friend Cathy on Saturday.  Some of these recipes look so yummy!  I’m really making efforts to make more meals at home as we got into a bad habit of eating out a lot this Summer.  It’s okay, we’ll reign it in and it will be delicious!

Currently I am trying to read my Book of the Month book, The Reckless Oath we Made, but I haven’t been into reading much.  I am making it a goal to read tomorrow though!

Looking back at this Summer, I can’t help but believe that since I took all that time to work on me, it was truly the best gift I have given myself, my husband and my children.  I am so grateful for this crazy beautiful life.  I have never been happier, and it’s crazy because I know life is only going to continue to get better.  It’s what we make of it, and I know and believe there’s so much more in store.

 

A Look Back at August

What a fun month we had!

I read quite a few books, Class Mom, It’s Not Your Money, Evie Drake Starts Over, Watching You, The Unhoneymooners, and Big Little Lies. (You can find all of these books in my Amazon Storefront!)

We were able to hit up the casino through a work incentive, and that was fun night out in a limo.

Our book club got together at Flight West.  We had delicious drinks and apps!

We had a fun double date with some friends.

My sister came over and we enjoyed a Sunday Funday while Joe mowed down the trails at the land.

We spent a lot of time at the land (like every Sunday!) walking the beautiful trails! It’s going to be like having our own park in our very own backyard.  20 acres is amazing!

Bradley enjoyed his weekly sports camp.  He loved Lacrosse!

Brooke earned a free book for Summer reading!

The kids spent a weekend with my sister, which meant a little time alone for me and another date night for hubby and I!

I finally got my hair done after two months–much needed.

I tried a few new recipes and some old ones, all of which I’d recommend!

Tuna Poke Bowl

Asian Chicken Skewers & Thai Noodles With Spicy Peanut Sauce

Egg Roll in a Bowl

And we used the heck out of our smoker/grill!  We are obsessed with bacon wrapped scallops & shrimp.

We also love getting a whole chicken that’s been cut, brining it and then smoking/grilling it.

Bradley had his Pre-K ice cream social.

I also spent some times working on routines.   I’m currently working on a weekly cleaning routine that the kids can help me with too!

We had a nice “back to school” dinner out last night.  These two love their daddy so much, and he loves them even more!

We will enjoy a nice family weekend coming up here for Labor Day and then we are ready to bring September on!

What was your favorite thing about August?

Back to School Routine

With back to school literally around the corner, I cannot help but think of routines.  I’ve never been one to follow a super strict schedule, but I do believe in the power of routines.  Babies thrive with them, children do well with them and I must say as an adult, I too crave routines.  It doesn’t mean you have to do the same exact thing every single day at the same exact time, but doing the same things daily do propel us further to success.

I thought I would share a few of my ‘routines’ with you!

Our morning routine was rather relaxed and I loved it that way.  We really had no obligations first thing in the morning other than getting Joe out the door to work on time and that was so very nice!  Next week will be an adjustment as Brooke will be out the door by 8:30, Bradley needs to be to school by 9 MWF and of course Joe works.  I take my job as a mama/wife pretty seriously, so I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to start my day, so that I can meet everyone else’s needs.

I know that for my day to be ‘successful’ and for me to feel at ease when my head hits the pillow, I wan to know that I did the very best I could.  Was I an exceptional wife?  An amazing mom?  Did I work on our business?  Did I prepare healthy meals? Did I do something that makes ME happy? Did I break a sweat? Did I do something special for someone else? We are never promised tomorrow, so I always try to make each day, my very best day.

Ideal Day:

6:00 Wake up! Drink pre-workout, journal, planner, blog, read (fill my cup!)

6:30/6:45 Iron clothes, let dogs out, feed them breakfast.

7:00 Push play on a workout.  I’m currently working through Morning Meltdown 100. They are all 30 minutes and under.

7:30 Wake up Brooke & Bradley, Get breakfast ready & make sure backpacks are good for the day.

8:00 Get Joe’s lunch/waters/vitamins/meds/breakfast ready. Make sure Brooke’s brushing hair, teeth, dressed well, etc.

8:25 Brooke outside to catch the bus, Joe leaves, Bradley brushes teeth/gets dressed.

9:00 drop off Bradley to school MWF

9:15-11:15 — Do I go grocery shopping? Shower? Work on our real estate business? Run errands? Walk the dogs?  Clean the house? Laundry?  I could also see me using this as some “do you time” — mani/pedi,  read a little, blog, if I feel myself needing a little something extra. There are also days where I go in and volunteer to be the helper at Preschool.

11:30 Pick up from Pre-K

12:00 lunch

12:30 Bradley quiet time/ABC Mouse, movie etc. while I work on our business or catch up around the house.

3:30 Tea Time — I brew a cup of tea and breathe!

4:00 Brooke’s off the bus, followed by after school snacks, homework, chores, play with neighbor friends, or dance class (one night a week.)  We may sign the kids up for a sport or swimming too, so this is just a rough idea of what life is like!

5:00/5:30 I typically start dinner. (I try so hard to meal plan to keep myself on track!)

6:30 Bath/shower

7:00 start bedtime routine, which consists of: Using the bathroom, brushing teeth, pjs on, quietly read books, I try to read books, and singing two songs before lights out.

The kids do best with about 11 hours of sleep per night it seems. 

My schedule is so wonky since I don’t have a 9-5, I have one kid mostly home, we run a real estate business that comes and goes with work to do.  I think sometimes I stress myself out because I have such a different lifestyle, but I do love it!  It’s just a lot different than what other people’s lives look like and that’s okay. I have learned to ‘bob and weave’ as Joe calls it, like when he needs a meal brought up to him or something! There are days when I feel like all I do is make call after call, or am at my desk for awhile. You just never know what pops up, like house fires, evictions, new buyers, new sellers, marketing, bookkeeping, it ebbs and flows so much!

What helps?

Once you figure out what your overall day looks like, find tools that work for you.

Planner. I am still a hardcore paper planner user.  I live by my calendar on the fridge, but I also write down nightly/daily what needs to happen throughout the week.   I am loving the Emily Ley Simplified Planner this year, and adore the new styles for 2020!  The daily planner has hour slots which has been super helpful for me to literally write out what and when I’m doing all the things.

Take a break! My daily “tea time” has been amped up since my bestie Ann sent me a Sipscription for my birthday!  It came with 4 different kinds to try.  You take a quick quiz and they send out teas they think you’ll enjoy, based on your answers. Check it out here! 

Workouts. I know I needed an under 30 workout for me to make these morning workouts happen, so I did commit to this.  I am currently on workout 30/100.  I don’t love the cardio ones, but I really enjoy the weighted workouts and the yoga flows.  My girl Lindsay and her crew keeps me accountable.  If you’re still looking for a good routine to sweat, check it out!

I hope a glimpse into my day may help some of you as you get ready to go back to school.  As you can see, I don’t give myself much ‘down time’ but I do best keeping busy my why is so engrained in me I don’t ever want to quit! I do enjoy podcasts or audiobooks while doing dishes/laundry etc.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day and we get to choose how we spend it.  I get it, some moms have to go to work outside of the house and some moms are in the newborn/infant stages, and if that’s the case, just worry about eating, sleeping & surviving!

Every new season of motherhood brings a new set of challenges but so many new blessings and experiences too.  If I’m being honest, this season is wonderful to me, but I also feel so weird because my babies don’t ‘need’ me so much any more!! I am getting more and more ‘free time’ because they’re becoming independent little souls who can do so much for themselves.  Of course, I fill the time up with working, cleaning, etc, but it’s an odd feeling to not be needed so much.  I’m also so excited for this new school year, but a twinge of sadness comes over my heart, as I love having them both home with me all the time.  Life is truly such a crazy beautiful ride and I am so blessed to enjoy these moments with my family.

What does your back to school routine look like?  Anything I should add or try out this upcoming school year?

A Girl Should Be

It’s not a hard question, and yet if someone asked you, what is it do you want? Would you be able to answer?

If you don’t know what it is that you want, how are you ever to get what you want?

The universe is always responding to us. What we think about, we bring about. If you focus on something, you will continue to receive more of it.

It took me some time to get here, but now that I have cleared the cobwebs, I feel it as clear as day.

I know who I am.

I know what I want.

Do you?

Amazon Storefront & Some Randoms

Happy Thursday beautiful souls!

I woke up this morning, got hubby off to work.  (totally thought he told me he wasn’t going in until 11; totally got that wrong and was just late getting him dressed, fed and packed lunch out the door! #oops) I did my Total Body Bad Ass workout, ate breakfast, showered and we had an excellent appointment with no tears and no cavities at the dentist for two kiddos.  After that, I did an Amazon return at Kohl’s (great marketing technique!) grabbed a few last minute back to school items for kids as well.  We had lunch, picked up the house and I’ve had a few moments to work on this here blog.

I’m enjoying the cooler temps, but not quite ready for Fall! Partially because I’ll miss having both of my babies home with me all day and I know the snow will soon be flying.  It’s all good though.  To everything, there is a season!

Speaking of Fall, I am finally able to create a storefront on Amazon!  If there’s one thing I have always loved, it’s Fall Fashion.  Now I can keep all of my fashion ideas in one spot AND share them with you!! I love shorts, flip flops, bathing suits, tees and easy livin’.  However, there’s something about layers, cool mornings, booties, jeans & cardis that this upstate NY gal just adores.  I’ll share some more of the looks in another post, but go ahead and take a peek at all the Fall feels!

I am excited to add more lists to my storefront, from the kids, to dogs, household items, clothing, and building a new home (eeeeek!!), I have lots to share!  Blogging has always been my form of active relaxation.  I love writing, feeling creative and sharing with others what works, what doesn’t and what is going on my crazy little world!

It’s hard to believe the Summer is almost over, but we had such a great one.  I have lots to still post from our vacation, so that’s my goal before September.  (Get my Lake George re-caps ups!)  I truly feel like we had the right amount of go-go-go and total relaxation.  I’ve found the ebb and flow of business and mom/wife life and I continue to work on myself daily.

Until the white flakes start flying, you’ll find us outside as much as possible.  Currently the kids are riding around in their “Green Car” they call it and I’m enjoying the fresh air, warm sun but cool breeze of later August. I’ve been cutting technology out as much as possible so my two have been so cute and creative.  They were playing with plastic bags, the water hose, and adding leaves pretending they had pet fish yesterday.  They make me laugh!

I know this a random post, but I wanted to share just a little bit and if you want to check out some good reads, I’ve added quite a few of my favorite books here.

I just finished Big Little Lies and it was AMAZING! Now I’m ready to watch the show everyone is talking about.  I love Reese Witherspoon and cannot wait to see how this book is portrayed on a TV show.  I am getting ready to start The Reckless Oath We Made as my bestie told me it’s one of her favorite authors.  I’m excited!

No big plans this weekend and I’m not mad about it.  I am kinda looking forward to reading, blogging and cooking up some yummy foods.  This came through my inbox the other day, so I may try this Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl!   Enjoying the days friends, that’s what it’s all about!

What’s on your agenda this weekend?

Five on Friday: Weekend Edition

Hey hey!! Happy Friday!

I thought I’d share 5 of my favorites from last weekend with ya!! I believe I have a super fun weekend planned ahead, so I’m looking forward to it.  I feel like we try to go out and enjoy this gorgeous weather as much as possible.  Pretty soon, it’s going to get cold, snow, icy and yucky to drive in, so we tend to hunker down and hibernate a lot once Winter hits.

1.  This adorable romper from Apricot Lane is SO comfy and was the perfect attire for our ‘book club/ladies night out’ last week.  I tried to get a good photo, but the husband was making me laugh so darn hard!  It’s hard sharing from this boutique because stuff sells out really fast, but if you haven’t shopped with them before, you’re totally missing out! (I know the leopard watch was a bit much with it, but I just love leopard haha!)

2.  Girls Nights & bubbly.  It’s seriously my favorite and there’s something about rosé bubbles that just tastes so delicious!  I love a good French Rosé but I also dig a simple can from Our House Wine.  I know, canned wine, who would have thought? It’s great because no one wants to drink a whole bottle of bubs, ok no one should drink a whole bottle, so the cans are perfection.

Oh, and cheese for dinner.  Who doesn’t love a good ole charcuterie platter?! I don’t know about the men in your life, but this would not constitute a meal in my household.  However, I left hubby home with the kiddos and so the ladies and I devoured this and a flat bread.  Yum, yum!

3.  A good mani.  I snuck out and got “I Seafood and Eat it” GEL for my nail color last time around.  It’s such a pretty mix of a hot pink/orange/red.  I do have some Colorstreet nails that I am itching to try out as well, I just need to stop going to the salon!

4.  Date nights!  I love a reason to dress up in some fabulous clothes and accessories.  We went to a local Rochester favorite, Tony D’s and it did not disappoint!  We were able to catch up with friends, one of whom used to work with Joe.  It was a beautiful evening all around!  Our city is pretty too!

Black Cami

Jeans (similar)

Necklaces

Shoes (similar)

5.  Quiet time.  I’ve been doing so much better carving out “do you time” as my life coach would call it.  It’s so much better when I take the time and relax, read, write, sip a little beverage.  I may sound like a broken record, but making intentional time to fill my soul continues to ground me more and more.  My back deck is mostly peaceful (depends on where kids/dogs are!) but I do love sitting back here, watching the birds and being outside.

Speaking of, I just love tea. I love Starbucks but when you’re home and in your cozy slippers, you just want something to pour from your own fridge! This chai is so tasty. I mix mine with vanilla soy milk and some ice cubes.  They do have a sugar free version, but I just use sparingly.  If I want one, I have one.  #intuitiveeating

That’s about all I have today for you lovelies!!

Cheers to a great weekend and a beautiful day!

Brooke Dances

I never got around to posting this, but I still want to see it later on in life! Our sweet girl just loves dance.  She’s been dancing at the same studio since she was 2. She has been in 4 dance recitals total and we just found out she will be doing competition dance starting in the Fall!!

Back in June she had her recital.

This was her “Material Girl” dance costume, how darn cute??

She likes ballet, but thinks it’s a bit slow.  She loves being on stage though!

Her ballet song was, “You are the Glow” which is some Disney princess song I think?  Either way, it makes me cry watching her dance to it.

I never knew the joy that could be watching your little girl up on a stage.  My mama heart just bursts with love and tears stream down my face when I see her light up the stage.

We are so proud of her!

One of her favorite parts is getting a trophy.

The stage makeup is fun for her too, as she never wears anything but chapstick at her age ha!

She was so happy her nana and papa could see her dance.  It was a beautiful Sunday performance and we are so blessed to be her parents.

She will be taking 4 classes this Fall, lyrical, ballet, jazz & tap.  Let the fun begin!

{Sorry, not sorry I love being a #dancemom!}

Post Life Coaching Feels

I’ve been a few weeks out of my Life Coaching experience with the amazingly talented Lindsay Preston, and I wanted to give a bit of an update.  I wanted to let myself absorb back into my ‘new normal’ and WOWZA.   That’s about the only ‘word’ that comes to mind when I think about my life right now.

If I am being honest, I have been having a bit of trouble putting words on paper (or blog) for how I feel.  I know that it was not a little pill or a magic wand, so I understand why I do feel so different, (in a good way too!) but it’s hard to truly explain the awesome that is, when we take the time to work on ourselves.

Transparent moment:

2 years ago, my husband was turning 40, we were running this newer company with our real estate, changing everything from one thing to another. I had a 2 year old, a 4 year old, poor relationships with my family and his, and I felt so lost.  I look back at photos and though I was in great physical health (still trying to work back to that bod!) really, I was so sad.  I felt like I had no control over anything (hello, we don’t always have control Jenn, and that’s ok!) but also I was leaning in trying to “find Jesus” and be saved or something. {It didn’t happen.}  I learned to just trust and wait the process of life, and honestly just keep going.  Through a lot of communication, life did get better, but fast forward to last year, and again, I would have these moments where I just felt paralyzed and couldn’t figure out “WHAT IS MY PURPOSE?!”  I’d have these highs and lows of how great and amazing life was, and then crash, something bad would happen and I’d falter and stumble and feel like I failed at life. Dramatic much? Yes.  But the truth is, in my 38 years here on earth, life is exactly that.  There’s going to be a whole lotta good that comes to us, and things to celebrate; life is meant to be beautiful and abundant.  But we wouldn’t understand how amazing it is, if we didn’t have some bad.

With Lindsay’s life coaching, she can’t take away our problems or solve terrible situations.  What she did do for me though, was give me the tools to help me when those bad times arise.  The times when I start to slip or feel not good enough.  The moments when I start to doubt myself or start to snap at my husband or kids for really “no apparent reason.”  I don’t blame my hormones, the weather, the food, my lack of workouts any more, nope.  It’s me.  And it’s not for “no apparent reason.”  There’s good reason why you are yelling, crying, feeling so overwhelmed.  I’ve also started asking myself, “What is this teaching me?” When something is going wrong, or I’m experiencing a trial of sorts.  I used to hear that phrase and roll my eyes and now I live by it.

So what do I do? (note it happened yesterday & again today)

I stop everything as fast as I can.  I still do what needs to get done, but then you guys, I mean it, you just need to press pause.  

I get quiet.  Even if it’s in a room locking your dogs and kids out of it for 5 minutes. Talk out loud to yourself, to a friend, to your mom.  If you have more time, grab a journal.  Writing was always so wonderful for me, but for whatever reason I abandoned it. Finding this tool again has been LIFE CHANGING. Get whatever it is out of that system of yours.  You don’t have to blog publicly or video your feelings, if you don’t want to, but the important thing I have learned is to get to the root of your problem.  For me, it’s so powerful to use that tool of journaling to figure out what is really making me so upset. I give my IMG (inner mean girl) a voice.  Let her be heard and allow yourself to feel.  Then I move on!

How?? Well I will say that I went through a life-changing process to release past emotions and blocks.  These were things that I didn’t quite realize that were holding me back from becoming my true authentic self.  Again, it was not easy, but once I devoted the time, had the support from my coach Lindsay and close friends/family and especially my husband, I realized the sky was the limit.  The best part?  I have this process tucked into my back pocket for the rest of my life.  At any point I am feeling stuck, emotionally stagnated or like I need to get over it, I will repeat the lessons I’ve learned.

I’ve said it before, but I’ve read the books. I’ve listened to the podcasts.  I have watched the You Tube videos and followed all the people posting all of the things.  It’s not a quick fix, but the tools learned in the 21 day Life Luvers Course and then the Unstoppable package, have truly done so much good.  I’m able to commit to my goals, stay on track and not lose sight no matter how hard things get.  I’m still counting my “wins” as Lindsay calls them.  Yesterday, they were as big as getting myself out of the ‘funk’ I felt as I felt myself slipping.  Normally that would have taken me days you guys!! Another win was when my husband came home, he had a bit of a panic/freak out moment of all the things not so great happening in real estate.  I’m talking, legit, problems.  I calmly heard him, and the old me would have taken it personally, been upset, defensive, argued back, but instead I listened. I heard him, let him have his moment, and we moved on.  I was always such a stress case, the one who would worry so very much about every little thing, and now?  I cast the worries—aka I write them out, and write some more.  And then let them go.  I’ve become so connected with the universe and the divine, I no longer have the uptight feeling in my chest. No heart palpitations. No impulse need to buy things.  It’s blissful.  It’s work, but once you get to this other side, you want to work so very hard to stay here.  Even today I had some things come flying at me, but I knew I needed to stop, breathe, write, workout, and I totally pumped myself up with Rachel Hollis and then GOT MY WORK DONE.  The perfectionist in me likes to put things off for fear of doing it right or getting it wrong, but I just dove in.  Checked off the list. [I learned all of this through my work with Lindsay!!!!!]

I am finally at the point where I can lay my head on the pillow knowing that I did everything I possibly could have done for the day, and that is enough for me.  I am enough for me.  It may have taken 38 years to feel this calm and intentional presence, but it’s so worth all of the work.  We’ll spend so much money and time on makeup, workouts, fast fix meals, toys, gadgets, tv shows, accessories, clothes, alcohol etc.  But we won’t spend time or money on fixing, healing and working on ourselves.  However, when we invest in ourselves, everything changes.  Everything changes for the better.

If you’re still feeling like everyone else has found “it” and you’re running on E, take a chance on yourself and jump in on Lindsay’s next round of Life Luvers LIVE starting on Monday 9/9.  You can use my code JENN20 to get $20 off!! I promise, it’s $77 worth every penny!!  At the very least, please head to her site  (www.LindsayEPreston.com) to take her coaching assessment to see if you’d be good to work together so you can get in on that live group.  The value of the group coaching is HUGE with this, as you will feed off of the other ladies energy and momentum will skyrocket you to that next level you are looking for.

I am in no way shape or form getting paid from writing this, nor am I getting a commission off of anyone who signs up.  I’m just a girl who loves to blog.  I love life. I love being happy, and I love helping others find their way.  Just knowing maybe one lady will click her way to success, or love, or happiness from reading my heart here on this old blog, I know I’m living into my purpose.

There happens to be another course after Unstoppable, but at this time I am taking a break to focus on our business, the kids going back to school and my final year of being a “stay at home mom.”  I know that Lindsay’s door is always open and I know I’ll be taking advantage of her one on one calls (I have one scheduled this Saturday!!) to work through some blocks I see happening in my business.  I am forever grateful my life has lead me here, and I truly wish each and every one of my readers this feeling of bliss.

Tea (and cookies) with Me

I figured we’d sit down and have a little tea together, shall we?  I’m having a cup of English Breakfast, with a splash of vanilla soy milk.  You?

 

July rushed right past us, although I thoroughly enjoyed all of its glory.  The weather has been literally, too good to be true and I am not sorry that I have spent most of my days outside breathing in this fresh air.  The sun feels glorious, the pools have been refreshing and I just LOVE Summer so much!

I slacked in my reading a bit in July; I was in a bit of a reading funk, but I think it’s safe to say I’m in the clear.  I’ve just finished several books that I do recommend! Class Mom was hilarious.  Evie Drake Starts Over was simply adorable, heartwarming and just a good old fashioned good read.  I literally finished my book club read hours before our meetup and it was quite the page turner towards the end, Watching You.

I’ve been studying, watching videos and really working more on our real estate business.  I am such a learner that it is half annoying (to me or my husband more, I’m not sure) that I can’t just dive into things without really giving it a hard go at researching.  I know success means sometimes you throw yourself into it, fail along the way and figure it out (I feel like that’s how we got here so far on my end!) Some of the biggest lessons were mistakes that were made.

I’m still riding in my ‘flow of authentic energy’ and am crafting my final blog post regarding my work with my life coach Lindsay Preston and two of her courses that I finished.

Other than that, we’ve eaten our weight in soft serve ice cream, delicious cheeseburgers and all the tasty Summer eats.  Of course I’ve been balancing it all with my daily workouts and eating clean mostly 80% of the time.  I know that life is too short to not enjoy the delicious food!

It’s hard to believe this will be my last year as an official “Stay at home mom” and while I’m aware that I work at home too, I can’t help but feel such a twinge of excitement and sadness all at once.  The other day I sat on our front porch as Brookie ran around, in her 6.5 year old glory.  I could feel the pull of years past, when she was only a 6 month old baby girl.  Her goofy grin, her bright shiny blue eyes and bald baby head–my heart ached for a quick moment, as I held that thought tight, knowing full well how beautiful it was to be with her every step of the way.  Bradley too, but this gift of motherhood is so amazing.  Time flies way too fast and while you’re in the midst of it, it sometimes feels like a never-ending carousel ride of bottles, diapers, bath and bedtime, sticky kisses, potty training, “mommy” this and “mommy” that… and yet I can see the quiet future, not so far off in the distance.  I see the quick kiss, if I’m lucky, and the running out the door.  The days where friends will be cooler than parents, and activities will take more of their days.  So I settle in, quietly here, with this small cup of tea.  I let them bake M&M cookies with me and make the hundredth peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the Summer.  I stop and cuddle with them if they ask.

I know babies don’t keep, but I am so very grateful that the memories of them do.

 

(P.S. These cookies really are perfection!! Follow the recipe below.)

Friday Favorites

TGIF lovely people!! It’s a fabulous day, to have a fabulous day!!

I figured since I went kinda deep in my life coaching post yesterday, I’d be a little more lighthearted and share some of my favorites from July/in general~

I am currently reading this hilarious book!  It’s on my Kindle app on my iPad and I am loving it’s quirky, snarky read.  The class mom sends highly inappropriate e-mails out to her son’s class, you know, the kind where most parents are getting offended and she has NO filter.

I also just picked up this book, but I haven’t read much of it to give any detail. I’ve just seen so many trusted book instagram influencers rave about it, I had to give it a go!

If you’re looking for a new pair of leggings, these ombré pair are so amazing!! I mentioned them in my insta-stories when I unboxed, but I love them even more after trying them on!  A size small fit great and for $16, I cannot rave about them enough.  There are a few colors to choose from, I got the orange.  Pictured below, are the Pink.

I adore this lace v-neck tank for date days or date nights.  Just $14.99 and coming in multiple colors, (I grabbed black) I think it’s the perfect tank for Summer and also easing into Fall, just throw a blazer or jean jacket over it.  Super cute and with some fancy statement earrings or necklace, you can dress it up even more. (I prefer it front tucked and maybe if belted, as it does have a looser fit. I grabbed a Small.)

Another clothing item, are these super cute Lulu dupe shorts ringing in at $24.  They have a back zip pocket (to hold keys or cards) and they have a tight under layer and looser outer short.  Great for running and they are comfortable. I sized up to a medium (8-10) as I do prefer shorts to be a looser fit.  I honestly love the waist band and would love another pair! I’ve seen some influencers with them and my bestie swears by them too.

I’m not sure if you’ve gotten into the hair clip trend, but I have been wanting to get some cute clips and this batch does not disappoint! Do a side part, some dry shampoo and voila, your days old hair will look a little extra! At just $13.99 these are going to be on rotation. My daughter loves them too.

Speaking of Brooke, she has been at dance camp and needed a new leotard because she’s just growing like crazy!  I thought for under $13 this was just adorable. She loves the fun straps and the material is nice as well.  I got her black, since the studio requests black leotards and pink tights for competition, and she’s auditioning for it during this camp.  (Wish her luck!)

I actually ordered my birthday dress off Amazon too!  Under $26 and very flattering, I ordered a small.  I love all the colors, but I went with black since every girl needs a few good LBD in her wardrobe.  I love that you could wear it off the shoulder or one shoulder. It’s nice and fitted, but has a draping top over it too. 

I am obsessed with this foundation right now.  It gives just enough coverage without looking too ‘made up’ if that makes sense.  You can layer it with the liquid foundation for more coverage as well.

Typically I use the complexion rescue, below, but I wanted something a little less dewey and that Bare pro seems to be doing the trick!  My shade is Natural 05.

I also scooped up this mascara and really love it for daily wear! It’s not clumpy, a decent price and certainly lifts my lashes enough for me.

This one is really random, but SO yummy!  I don’t usually have a sweet tooth, but once in awhile I crave a cookie and don’t want to eat them…I found these and oh gosh, the crunch is perfection!  They are not something I try and eat every day, I usually grab them to throw them in my purse and will eat them in a pinch.  Just a good option to have on hand when you’re on the go!

And, one NOT so favorite was this dress. I had high hopes for it too! It had good reviews and they did say to size up, so I went with a medium.  Ladies, I could not even zip the SIDE zipper (why on earth not just make it a stretchy material??) and the front flaps came up so high, even if I could zip the side, I’d be giving everyone quite the show.  This went back.  Two thumbs down!  Don’t even bother.  Not worth it.  I sent it back. #fakenewswhensizingup

 

What are you some of your favorites this Friday?  I love finding good deals and hearing real people share their go-to products.  I’ll be starting back to school shopping before I know it and I’m thinking I may share some of the top picks for my soon to be 1st Grader and Pre-Kindergartener!  Until then, we will enjoy this gorgeous Summer.

Free to be ME

This photo captures the beauty of life still moving, in this case the sun setting, and yet not being totally overwhelmed, consumed and bogged down by the daily demands.

Every morning the sun rises, and every evening the sun sets.  We wake up, have endless amounts of ideas running through our minds, activities to attend, meals to prepare and eat, people to take care of, books to read, obligations that need to be fulfilled and duties to be performed.

I’ve always thought of myself as a happy person, but I will admit my emotions ran me most of the time.  I have always felt so damn close to being exactly where I want, and what I want, but then something would happen and I’d lose that feeling.  Well, since working with my Life Coach Lindsay Preston in her Life Luvers Course and then followed it up with her Unstoppable Woman program, I can honestly say to myself and to the world, I have unlocked so many doors.

As I try to put into words the power of the work that I have done, it almost feels impossible.  There were parts when it was super hard and I certainly did not like opening up some old wounds, but with her help, Lindsay gave me the tools to heal myself for once and for all.  I’m not saying I won’t have past issues re-surface, but now that I know what to do, I no longer fear them.   Most importantly, I learned to forgive, especially myself.

I mentioned that I was to do three 21 Day Habits.  You guys, I did them.  ALL. THREE!! It was easy to do, but it would have been oh so easy not to do as well.  I did my daily yoga, even when I was ready for bed and pushed it until the very end of the evening, I still pulled out my iPad and did some goodnight yoga stretches.  I blogged every day for 21 days, even if it was just a quote and photo.  I also repeated my mantra to myself every day, for 21 days straight, “I am free to be me.”

Do you know what happened?

  • I became more calm and got mad/frustrated less.  (ie. not yelling/snapping at kids or dogs)
  • I drew boundaries in my life where I realized there needed to be some.  (Business wise, familial, friendships)
  • I gained a sense of confidence in my writing, opening up and sharing poetry here, no longer caring if anyone liked it or not.
  • I got really intentional with my time, making my 24 hours in my day extremely valuable to me.
  • I stopped feeling the guilt if I let someone down (aka the people pleaser in me) when I realized I simply cannot do it all.
  • I learned to love my body, the way it is, even if it’s not perfect.
  • My relationship with my husband has gotten even better, and I have to say we have a great marriage, but this work has improved it even more so!
  • I am so attune with God, mother nature, the universe.
  • I no longer hold grudges or question, “why me?”  I started asking, “What is this teaching me?”
  • My weird heart palpitations are completely gone.  The Dr sent me home with Lexapro, told me I had bad anxiety…I have felt more zen than ever before, and life is anything but smooth sailing. (hello house fire at one of properties)
  • I’ve opened up even further to our business and am becoming more confident as I step further into this entrepreneur role.
  • I am just so “in flow” as I always call it.  I just feel lighter — and not like lbs, just not a sense of heaviness weighing me down.
  • I can feel myself slipping into my “IMG” and can pull myself back into my authentic self with the proper tools Lindsay taught me.

 

Lindsay will be running Life Luvers again LIVE starting on Monday 9/9 and they can use your code to get $20.  This is so powerful when you do it amongst a group of women!  The energy that flows is so contagious and so much growth can happen in such a short time.  If you are at all intrigued, hop over to her site  (www.LindsayEPreston.com) to take her coaching assessment to see if you are good to work together so you can get in that live group!!  Don’t forget to use the code JENN20 when you sign up, and save $20!

I know it seems like a lot of work, and I won’t lie, putting in the time to better myself was not always easy…but if you just take it one day at a time, one step at a time, I can promise you that life will get better, things seem to get easier, and you’ll gain a clarity that you’ve perhaps only dreamed of.

I started with two 90 Day Goals at the start of this Unstoppable Woman course.

Goal 1:  Improve my time management. At the start of this course, I gave myself a “3” out of 10.  I felt it was reasonable and attainable to achieve my goal. I wrote, “By the end of unstoppable, I will be at a 10.  I will feel less chaotic, and there will be a flow with my days. —- WOW!  I can say that I am there.  I feel in control, even on the days I have zero control, I am still in flow with my crazy.  (Owning your own real estate biz has so many unexpected twists!)

Goal 2: Improve my communication about me.  I will be okay with celebrating wins.  I gave myself a 6 on the scale at the start of this program.  At the end of 90 days, I won’t hide/skirt around my needs, wants and desires.  At the end of Unstoppable, I will be free to be me.  –again, WOW!!  I would say here I am at a 10.  I no longer hold back in fear of what others may think, say or do.  I honestly display my feelings, thoughts and stand firm in my beliefs.  My communication has honestly improved in all important relationships in my life and I feel nothing but gratitude and abundance, and of course, love.

I am just wrapping up the final weeks of this course, and just wish everyone could put in this kind of work to better themselves.  I’ve read countless self-improvement books, listened to audio, watched a ton of motivational speakers, but none of them have given me this literal step-by-step guide of how to get to the other side.

9 Years

On 7.10.10 we celebrated 9 years of marriage!!

We were actually away this year, up in the mountains at Lake George.  It was so great to be able to hang out together all day!  Since my dad and step-mom came up for a few days, we hung out all day with them and my niece.  They stayed at a fun place right on the water with a beach, so we did a little beach day on the perfectly sunny day.

That night they took the kiddos to dinner so we could have a quiet fancy meal all to ourselves!  We tried out the The Club Grill at the Sagamore Golf course and OH MY GOODNESS!! It was so good.  We were originally going to just bring the kids, but we are so grateful my dad and step mom came up last minute!

Photo Op in the fantastic lit up mirror in our bathroom at the Holiday Inn!

It was such a quiet dining atmosphere and all would have been enjoyed in such sweet silence with a 4 and 6 year old! Don’t get me wrong, our kids love nice restaurants and good food, but it was a perfect give for us.  Even the butter had little squirts of honey in it!  I had surf and turf filet/lobster and Joe had a fancy fish dish.  We had dessert; it was divine!

Once our dinner was over, we headed back to the main part of town, hit up the arcade and played Guitar Hero like the good old days.  We found everyone and had a fun evening.  It was a happy anniversary and so nice to make new memories.

Looking back, year 8 certainly had its trials and just so much happened.  Joe was so sick with Crohn’s, we had some job changes, my mom got re-married (aka we all rode a plane!) our oldest went to Kindergarten, the youngest began pre-school, I decided to take on life coaching to better myself, and yet once again we became stronger and better than ever before.  Once again, communication remains key and get in as many date nights as possible!! I honestly believe the best is yet to come.

Cheers to year 9 and many many more!!

Morning Meltdown 100

I have been struggling with consistent workouts for quite a while. I make excuses, things come up, either way I am ready to do something different.

My girl Lindsay is a Beachbody coach and she’s my go to for my happy mama juice energize which is the bomb!!

I am turning 38 this week and one of my goals is always to be in the best shape of my life. I am grateful for my body but I always wanted to do a little bit more. Have you seen these workouts? Have you tried anything like this? The concept is to work out 100 times in a row. It doesn’t mean you have to do every day, if you miss a day you can double up the next. The workouts are only 20 to 30 minutes and all of the sampling ones I have done and the prep workouts have been awesome!!

I’ll share more on these as I go. I still have my gym membership it’s just been a little tricky to get there with both kids in tow and our wonky non-routine summer routine!  I am thinking I can watch these on my phone to inspire me when lifting too.

I’m ready!

Get Still

If you’re feeling lost, confused, or just don’t know what on earth to do, maybe getting quiet will help.

Maybe sitting with yourself, no distractions, no noise.

It’s hard to do, this I know. Especially when you’re a mama to littles, but when you get quiet, things get clear.

There’s beauty in the chaos, but to see it you might need to get still.

Loving July

Hello!

We just got back from our big family vacation to the ADK mountains, specifically Lake George!! I want to share tons of phots and experiences with everyone, but this thing called REAL LIFE has sucked me back!  All things real estate and of course the never ending laundry has literally taken every waking moment, other than what my two littles demand of course!

I decided to take a quick break and post before resuming all the fun chores and such.   That’s the thing I have noticed most lately…if I just take a few minutes here or there, and use that time WISELY (key word!) I feel so much better about getting back to the grind! I have to attribute my work with Lindsay Preston, my life coach for this.  It’s not selfish, and life actually goes so much better when you squeeze in time for you and what you love to do. {Remember you can still use code: JENN20 and save $20 and grab the Life Luvers course for just $77!!} Speaking of, I am prepping for my upcoming “Release” and will certainly be sharing more on that soon.

I did scoop up one thing on Amazon Prime Day.  I have had my eye on an Instant Pot FOREVER and the price was just too good to not pass up!  I believe I scored it for $66 and it’s back up to $88, which is still a good price though!

I did pick up two library books and our book club chose the next book to read as well.  I also just finished Before we Were Yours-–super sad, and yet so beautifully written. Yay for Summer reading!

Until I get another little stretch of time, I’ll be staying cool in this gorgeous hot Summer weather, detoxing from all the starchy white carbs, sugars, drinks and crazy fatty vacay foods!

Don’t you just love July?  It’s by far my absolute favorite.

Have a beautiful day sweet friends!

 

Give Thanks

The more we appreciate, the more we can appreciate. Being grateful opens so many doors, it’s hard to imagine living any other way! Happy Wednesday friends!

Two for Tuesday

  1. Happy Tuesday beautiful beings!! I finished reading The Friend Zone and it was seriously adorable and sad! It was a quick read and would make an excellent plot for a rom-com!
  1. I’m still doing my daily yoga and my body and mind feels so darn good. I am loving this 21 day habit I don’t think I’ll be able to stop at day 21!

We are enjoying summer and I have lots to share, but I just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a beautiful day!

Enjoy.

A Mix (poem)

Do you like to be alone?

Or out and about in the crowds?

Do you sit at home and sulk?

Or do you prefer it to be loud?

I’m a little bit of both, I like a mix you see.

There’s so much of me that likes it quiet,

and more that likes to be–

out on the town, dressed all fancy, sipping on pink champagne.

But cozy and calm, with a teacup in hand,

reading a novel in front a warm hearth is also where I prefer to be.

Sunday Quote

Take some time to do what makes you happy. Enjoy your Sunday!

Summer Meal Inspo

I love looking up recipes…I probably spend way more time than I should reading, researching, watching and trying to figure out what to make!  I do find cooking kind of like my therapy.  I find it so relaxing to sip on a cold glass of Pinot Grigio while whipping up a nice meal on a hot Summer day!  (Red wine, when it’s the dead of Winter!)   However, sometimes I forget even where to look so I wanted to share some sites that have my eye.

For when it’s almost too hot to cook, or you just got a new grill or smoker, here are some great sites for you to check out! I look forward to testing some recipes out and reporting back here as to what we liked, or didn’t!

Hot Summer Dinner Ideas

Summer Weeknight Dinners

Skinny Taste

Food and Wine

Smoker Recipes

 

Happy cooking!

4th of July 2019

We had so much fun on the 4th!  Joe and his best friend Chris LOVE this holiday and our kids all play so well, it’s always a good time.

Here’s the 2019 rendition of “the shirt”!

We enjoyed high 80/90 degree weather all day and it didn’t rain at all.

I’m not going to lie, it’s nice to not have him busy building firework displays and just hang out on his day off.

New recipe (thanks to my girl Ann!) We did Smoked Mac & Cheese.

1 lb of elbow macaroni

4 cups of milk ( did 3 cups 2% and 1 cup half and half)

1 brick of extra sharp cheddar

1 wedge of Gouda

1/2 velveeta block cubed

1 stick of butter

*I’d probably add another bit of cheese, muenster, colby, or even mozz.

We smoked it for 2 hours at 250 degrees, stirring every 1/2 hour.   There was nothing left and everyone had rave reviews. I thought it was great, but would add a little salt and more cheese next time.

I love these two.

This girl loves her fireworks!

Happy 4th of July!!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day today!  I promise to throw on this old shirt and take another photo.  It’s crazy to think a random PINK purchase in 2012 for my prego belly would become such a tradition!  How fast my babies grow kills and thrills me!

We will be hanging with some good friends, enjoying some smoked eats and celebrating the land of the free…that is if I can peel my history loving hubby away from the TV!  He never watches it, but the History channel apparently has the best shows today.

Here’s 2012-2018

I’ll post our newest one tomorrow!

Cheers friends!

 

Wordless Wednesday

Today

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Stopping by with a quickie today!!

I must say that my 21 day habits with my Life Coach Lindsay Preston during this Unstoppable Woman course are SOOO worth it!  I am not one to successfully complete something for x amount of straight days, without making an excuse.  Sure, I do stepbets, but they’re for 6 weeks and you get a day off in the week.  But here is something so powerful in doing the same thing for 13 days straight—I feel so empowered!  I also feel so much more at ease, I think because I’m doing a daily yoga practice.  I cannot wait to see how I’m doing after 21 days!!

My 3 habits:

1.) Daily Mantra: I am free to be me.

2.) 10 (or more) minutes of Yoga with Adriene.

3.) Blogging every day— have you noticed that yet?  🙂

I am content.  I am grounded.  I am satisfied.  I am happy.  I am rich.  I am loved.  I am strong.  I am healthy.  I am alive. I am free.  I am me. I am love.

 

What is one small habit you could do daily for 21 days straight? (Small, attainable and something to fill a need.)

Happy July!

May it be filled with…

…endless Summer days that mysteriously turn to nights.

…the sounds and sights of fireworks brightening the dark skies.

…sticky s’more covered fingers and wet grass between the toes.

…sun-kissed cheeks and shoulders.

…beach days and pool swims.

…popsicle lips.

…the smell of pineapple and coconut wafting in the air.

…a time to slow down and enjoy the outside.

…bonfires and roasting hotdogs on a stick.

…driveway dinners grilling and smoking meats.

…celebrating my birthday and our anniversary.

….taking walks after dinner, long before the sun will set.

…chasing fireflies in the night.

…staying up way too late reading that perfect beachy read.

…playgrounds, amusement park rides, carnivals and more.

…hiking in the mountains, taking in that fresh clean air.

…looking out into the lake and and day dreaming.

…sunglasses, bathing suits, hats and sunscreen.

…a time time to relax, unwind and enjoy

sweet, sweet, summer time.

Peace

If writing makes me happy, why do I not write any more? 

I used to write daily, and then it became a chore. 

Life is always moving, fast and speeding.

It’s the slowness that I’m craving.

 

The breaths of air in between the talks.

The smiles of my babies.

The laughs of them too.

There never was such a peace,

than when I’m here with you. 

Reminder

Your mental health matters. Take time, get quiet. Ask for help. Breathe. Do things that make you smile. Do the yoga. Take the meds. It’s all going to be okay.

Saturday blessings to all.

First and Last

The smile on your face, the excitement behind your eyes— baby girl, it seems like yesterday I brought you into this world. Your first day of Kindergarten, I was so nervous all day long!  I kept staring at the clock, every other hour and checking your schedule all the while.  I remember baking cookies for you to enjoy and tell me about your day.  I recall sitting on the front porch, tearing up because I knew that this was it.  It was the first day of your big schooling and the last of being home with me.

And just like that, the year flew by, so many memories tucked safely away.  You loved school so much, you rarely missed a day!  You grew so much (look how big!) but even more in school.  You’re a big girl, reading and writing all sorts of things.

Most importantly you gained so much confidence and weren’t so shy.  You made new friends and enjoyed all of your subjects.  You’re 6 six years and have so many questions, and as much as I try to keep you small, you simply must know it all.

So cheers to you, for a fantastic year!

And here’s to us for having you near all Summer.

I couldn’t have picked a more perfect daughter, you’re truly a blessing from above.

I ended the year, as I began, baking some cookies from my heart with my hands.

I hope these memories of love fill your soul.

And that you, sweet Brooke Lynn, remember that you can do it all.

Happy Summer 2019!!

Grow

Something more inside of me,

something I don’t even know.

It’s there and brewing, slowly,

I feel and yearn to know.

What is it that we are here for?
What is the great big race?

Is there a prize at the end of the line,

or is it all just time and space?

I’m often pondering what’s this purpose,

and even more trying to see.
This one great life you’ve given me,

am I doing all that you please?

My heart is big, my mind stands tall

and I wait to know the truth.

Something inside of me, is certainly starting to grow.

Daily Yoga

One of my 21 Day habits I chose is to do yoga daily for at least 10 minutes.  I always feel better after moving, and 10 minutes seemed doable and there are does I even go longer!

I have been doing this for a week straight now, and each day at some point (preferably morning) I go to You Tube and search in Yoga With Adrienne.  I literally put in whatever I am feeling.  So far it’s been stuff like Yoga for back and neck, yoga for anxiety, yoga to fall asleep, sitting yoga and today I did this fun one and had Bradley join me.

 

 

Have you ever practiced yoga daily? I’m finding that it’s truly helping my breathing and feeling a bit calmer during the end of school year chaos.

Namaste!

Summer Reads

I have quite the list (in my head) and I could probably sit here and add a ton more to this blog, but since I have only allotted myself a set time to write this, this is what we get! I love following people on Instagram and seeing their recommendations, as well as some of my favorite authors.  I would love to complete this list, so I’ll check back in towards the end of Summer and see how I did!

I love fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction.  Scary, romance, thriller, memoir, biography, murder mystery, and of course chick-lit.  I really don’t discriminate when it comes to reading!! Sometimes I feel like I over do it on Self-development and need to read something fluffy.

My goal is to read 52 books this year and I’m at 23 so far.  I usually have a hardcover book going, an e-book on my kindle app to read to fall asleep at night and an audiobook.

If you can watch several TV series and not get them confused, I promise you, you can read several books at once!

Currently reading this Summer gem:

On the waitlist for these at the library:

I really liked this author, as I read one of her books earlier this year.

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This had some great reviews.

 

I hear that this one is a tear jerker!

 

*this one is highly anticipated and I’m like 105 in line, so I may just end up buying this one!

I keep seeing this one all over Instagram and everyone is loving it!

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Personal Development list:

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I figured why not learn about Billionaires too?

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Currently listening to this one, thanks to my mom!  It takes place in the surrounding areas of Charleston South Carolina, and is a fluffy listen so far, so good!

 

 

I’m sure I’ll be reading many fun kid books as well!  I’m going to try and get the kids to the library weekly and enjoy lots of outdoor reading time.  Brooke is so excited to be doing the Summer reading program through Barnes and Noble, where she has to read 8 books and then can pick a free book in August!

 

What’s on your reading list?  If you have never read The Wife Between Us or The Last Mrs Parrish, and are looking to jumpstart your reading again, I would suggest beginning there!!

Weekend Rewind

Friday was the first day of Summer!! It came in hot too! We had such a gorgeous weekend weather wise, everyone here in the 585 seemed to be smiling.

The boys and I had lunch on the canal–I keep feeling this pull to the water, so I am trying to listen and make it happen more frequently!

Friday night was full of fun on a boat with some friends.  We had Mexican food for dinner and took a cruise down the canal.

I got my baby fix too–how cute is she?!

Saturday I dropped the kids off with my dad and step-mom and had some FREE time ALONE—whoa!  This time I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I went for super yellow nails for Summer. How fun!

I was able to get ready for our date night in peace and quiet–totally weird!  I decided to soak up that extra time and curl the hair.

Kid free and on our way to dinner!

We caught a glimpse of the view after the sun set.  Our city isn’t that big, but it’s pretty from a rooftop!

I wanted to go dancing (duh) but there’s not really any places to go out here, other than bars.  We made the most of it though!  I think one of my favorite parts of the night was when a lady asked us if we just started dating!  She said we looked so happy and we laughed explained we were kid free for a bit and actually are coming up on 9 years of marriage this July!  We took it as a compliment.  We do have so much fun together.  We had a lot to celebrate and so much to be grateful for.

Sunday morning we woke up with the dogs and took them out back to run around.  Afterwards we hit up Brueggers for a bagel breakfast sandwich and drove to our land.  Look at how many crazy daisies there are!

We also have a makeshift pond at the moment.  We are figuring out this water situation and will be living here soon.  I cannot believe we bought this land almost 4 years ago!

We spent most of the day chilling.  Joe actually napped!

 

I finished this book–it was good!  It was my “fall asleep reading” book until it wasn’t. It started keeping me awake because I wanted to know what on earth was happening! I kind of figured it out but still wanted to see it all come together in the end.  It read like a YA book, but wasn’t, if that makes any sense.

Sunday we scooped up the kiddos, took a little drive and then decided on grilling corn and sausages for dinner.  I am calling this a “Driveway Dinner.”  Joe grills, I bring out all the supplies, we all eat sitting around the grill and the kids can continue to play.  It relieves me from having to set the table and doing a bunch of dishes.  PS grilled corn was so good!

This one– be still my mama heart– she’s been working so hard on riding her bike without training wheels.  Sure she gets discouraged, gives up temporarily but then she’s back at it again in no time.  Such a metaphor for life really.

She was so proud and we are so proud of her!  #thisis6

I finished my setpbet finally!!! I will report on how much $$ I made if any hahaha.

 

It was a beautiful mix of some time for myself, time alone with Joe and some time with the family.  Summer, we are SO happy you are here!  Cheers to an amazing Summer and a wonderful week.

 

Shhh

Come Alive

When is the last time you did something that truly made you happy?

When did you last lose all track of time?

What makes you put your phone down and forget all about it?

What was your favorite ice cream flavor as a kid?

What did you most look forward to in the hot Summer months?

What do you crave more than anything in the world?

When’s the last time you did something for someone who could no longer pay you back?

When did you last thank God (the universe, whomever) for all that you have?

How long ago did you laugh so hard you cried?

What speaks to you in ways that it’s so hard to put into words?

Do those things.  Feel those things. Be those things.

Bring back your joy, feel your youth and let yourself come alive.

Tastefully Simple 14 Day Reset

My sweet friend Cathy has been a Tastefully Simple consultant for many years! She loves helping women (and men) make dinner an easier and healthier task.  She really is so passionate about what she does and I love how open she is with sharing her meals, recipes and feedback with her community!

When she asked me if I would be one of two 14 Day Reset challengers, I jumped on it! The cost was not bad at all, considering the high quality meal planning/daily menu, and products.  It even comes with a grocery list and prep list! (So helpful for a busy mama!!)

On a side note, I was a clean eating pro.  I was at a steady (happy/healthy) weight since Spring of 2016 until Summer 2018.  Not sure exactly what happened, but between stress, vacations, and lack of planning/caring, I let my eating habits slide a bit.  Sure, I re-joined the gym and was moving, but my eating as all over the place and kind of out of control.  My once in awhile turned into every other night.   A few Dino nuggets here and a couple of mouthfuls of Mac and Cheese there….PLUS my ‘healthy dinner’ whatever I constituted that as.

Fruit and egg bites–oh goodness. So easy to pop in the microwave on those crazy mornings!

Homemade chicken soup– so darn good!

They give you 3 different salad dressings to make.

Deli turkey roll ups.

Can of tuna in a salad!

Tea time with this little pack of goodies!! It curbed my sweet tooth.

Coconut Shrimp with zoodles omg this was my fave!

These helped my ‘salty craving’ and I am a huge chip lover.

Lettuce wraps. (side note, I passed these off as tacos to my family and there was shredded carrot, spinach and mushroom in there!)

The famous breakfast meatballs. I just made another batch yesterday because they are that good!

Sexy Steaks!

I was full after this meal!

I am obsessed with this breakfast!

I really enjoyed the homemade dressings with veggies as a snack.

Curry pork paired with zoodles! YUM!

While I cannot share the recipe, I can refer to my beautiful and amazing friend Cathy!! She is on Instagram, Facebook and isn’t someone who just slings food.  No, she does live videos, shares recipe ideas, and shows you how to use all of the ingredients.  She’s a working mom of 3 and just has such a huge heart to help others make meal time easy!

 

 

I am SO happy that I did this reset.

  • I lost and kept off 6 pounds!
  • My jeans/belt fit me again
  • I gained my healthy cooking confidence back in the kitchen
  • I put mine and my family’s health FIRST
  • I learned some new yummy recipes
  • I gained back self control over my eating
  • I felt great and had so much energy!
  • I learned that I do not need AS MANY carbs as I was eating, but I do need carbs

I firmly believe in 80/20 as I preach here from time to time.  Whether it’s a day or an entire week or month, I try to look at it as such: Did I eat whole, clean, real foods 80% of the time?  Did I allow myself treats/pasta/chips whatever 20% of the time?

I will say that it was a bit challenging to meal prep and keep up with all of the cooking. I gave myself some grace on the weekend and certainly the 2nd week.  It taught me the basics of what I needed and if I had a lot more weight to lose, I would have stuck with it more strictly, but I didn’t want to lose too much weight too fast.

Seriously, if you’re in a meal planning rut or wanting to cut the sugar/carbs, just hit up my friend Cathy!  I am not getting paid or any compensation for writing this, I honestly love looking back at my food photos and love spreading the word about good health.

Memories

I want to capture every moment, but then I drive myself insane.

Each and every second, could be a memory.

These ages are so magical, and in my heart I find,

it’s hard to not go crazy trying to not leave it all behind.

No more bottles, babies, toddlers,

No more diapers, cribs or strollers.

No more wearing you and waking in the middle of your slumber.

 

You’re able to ride your big bicycles, smiling your silly little grins.

 

You play in nature and let nothing bother you, and try to capture every creature.

The two of you are best of friends and it makes us oh, so proud.

Can I keep you these ages forever?  Or at least for a little while longer?

Silly, goofy, crazy.

You are both all of the above.

We never thought we could love anyone more, and then you both came along.

Please let this Summer hold a beautiful story.

I cannot wait to share it with you, and yet I can wait to see.

Summer 2019 will hold the

most

perfect

memories. 

Becoming Unstoppable: Getting Ready for Action

Phew!! Can I get a woop woop??

I’m feeling high on life my friends.  I am literally 1/3 of the way through my current Life Coaching program with Lindsay Preston.  I am getting quite a few comments or questions from friends who are intrigued, but don’t know if Life Coaching is for them.  It is.  If you think you have more to get or give out of life, then you do.  If you’re feeling stuck in your current business or life, then it’s time.  It’s time to stop drinking away the feelings, shopping away the fears, hanging out with the wrong people, becoming a zombie in front of your TV, or Ipad, or whatever.  Stop the madness people!! Sure it’s a “quick fix” but as Taylor Swift says, (and Lindsay uses the term bullet holes for a reason!) “bandaids don’t fix bullet holes.

In my last blog post, I opened up and shared some of my icky memories from my life.  I didn’t share what the feelings (bullet holes) caused, but we are going to work on fixing them.   The behaviors I have accepted in my past and allowed to continue into my present (and would most likely have allowed in my future) will be no more!! Unfortunately Lindsay doesn’t have a magic wand, but she sure seems like a fairy godmother to me!!  Week 4 was a tough one for me.  I had to face myself and take a quick assessment to see how many things I still tolerate in my life.  Out of a list of 20, you guys–I put up with 10.  TEN!! (one example is “it is easy for me to say no to people.) I consider myself a strong and independent woman, and this just broke me.  I started recognizing patterns in my life that I’m not happy with…and guess what? I have the power to change.  Yup.  It’s not going to be easy, but oh I can feel it’s going to be worth its weight in gold!

Another thing we had to look at was how we are meeting our needs.  Based on what needs we feel that we need to fulfill, we have created some goals and habits on how to reach them.  Not going to lie, this is the part that is firing me up.  I am not sharing my 21 day habits yet, but once I am in my routine, I will for sure share them and let you know how they’re going.  I have 3 that I will be doing daily for 21 days and I’ve been playing around with them and it’s feeling amazing already.

I have got to say the best and biggest advice/tool that I have learned has still got to be journaling.  Lindsay was pretty strict on this saying that we really need to write for 30 minutes a day, and I will be honest…I kind of doubted that it would really be that helpful. (oops) and what I have found out, is that by writing (not blogging, but in a personal space) I am giving my IMG a voice.  She can cry, rant, scream, swear, and be as negative and mad as she wants…and you know what happens then?  My authentic self started shining through–just like the sun shining after a terrible storm.  I swear there were rainbows.

I feel like I can breathe.

I see my future, I feel my present and I am so damn loving to myself right now, you guys, I went and bought a new bikini at Target today.  I loved on myself and all of my flaws. My soft belly, my stretchmarks, my less than perky post-breastfeeding boobs.  I embraced what I saw, and high-fived my damn self. I’m not perfect, but this is HUGE for me.  I don’t talk about my physical body imperfections much and I do try to stay healthy, but I will say usually my IMG tears me to shreds.  So the cellulite on the back on my legs?  It’s there.  But I know my strong muscles help me crush each and every day that I am alive.

So although my inner work has been, well, work, there is something almost magical happening.  I wish for every woman to feel this.  The more we can love and accept all of ourselves, the less we would get mad at strangers on the internets, or having squabbles in real life.  I am becoming a better mom, wife, woman every day.  I feel it in my bones.  Success isn’t a straight onward and upward motion.  I know that there will be a few steps forward and one step back.  It’s when I’m stepping back, that I am getting calm, focusing on what needs to be changed, so that I can go even further.  Now, I’ve done this time and time again by myself, but having an actual coach to work with me through this, is making all of the difference.  *cue the song…Don’t believe me just watch.

If this is something you’re craving, just take a chance.  See how amazing you can feel; if you’re not feeling that amazing…I’ve been there sister, I know it’s not fun.  There is a way and you can find it.  Perhaps you’re reading this right now thinking, what if?  Just take the leap.  Take Lindsay’s FREE assessment and get on that phone with her.  Shen won’t change your life, but she will coach you to do it yourself. Don’t forget to use the code JENN20 if you want to save $20 on the Life Luvers course!! 

Quote for Tuesday

I know that I tend to think, overthink, re-think, worry, and so forth.  It’s not fun, it’s a waste of time (and energy) and often whatever is running non-stop through my head, doesn’t even happen!! Maybe it is the enemy trying to mess with me, or maybe I’m just a little crazy.  Either way, I am working on these thoughts that make me mad, sad, depressed, frustrated, negative (aka my INNER MEAN GIRL) and making them go away more regularly.

One tool that Lindsay has taught me (that I used to do before I met Joe more frequently) was write in a journal.  Since starting this habit back up, so much comes out of my mind, onto paper and my heart is lifted and lighter.  I am not where I want to be yet, but I know I am well on my way there.

This quote felt fitting for today.  Stop the madness– you are amazing, wonderful and unstoppable! Don’t forget it.

Oprah.com

Weekend Rewind

Flag Day meant this one wore red, white and blue, and came home with quite the hat!

Friday we had a few houses to look at and see if we could help some friends out, and also took a look at another bank owned house.  It’s crazy to think that we have been doing this real estate business for so many years! We also stopped and looked at a beautiful home being built to check out the builder’s work.  That lead us to looking at some homes online and trying to figure out what kind of design we will want to build.  So many choices–it’s exciting!

Saturday I had my life coaching call and took the kids to the mall to pic up a little something for Father’s Day.   I didn’t feel much like cooking and was totally in the mood for a cheeseburger, so we did just that once Joe got home!  I was totally behind on my steps for my step bet, and wanted to give up, but I got them in with my neighbor, walking the dog and taking Brooke on a walk too! (Not gonna lie, it made me feel better after indulging in said cheeseburger and fries!)

Oh, and these two got their first ice cream of the season!  Cotton Candy for the win.

I shared these photos on my social media for Father’s Day, and this one at the beach reeeeeallly makes me want to go away now!  He really is such a great dad and these kids look up to him like no other.  He’s the fun parent, the one who gets them all riled up at bedtime when I’m trying to calm them down, and gets them giggling harder than I have ever seen them.  They are two lucky kiddos to be blessed with him as their father.

I am also grateful they have my dad in their lives to love on them and enjoy their silliness. I know he’s had a lot of health concerns and I just hope that he gets super healthy in this next year so they can enjoy him even more! He was always there for me growing up and I couldn’t have asked for a better dad.

On our way to my dad’s house.  We had a yummy lasagna and I made my homemade bread.  My sister brought stuff for homemade sundaes.  It was fun!

Side note, while I veered a bit on my 14 day Tastefully Simple challenge, I really did learn so much!! I got my confidence back in the kitchen, my clothes fit again and I really feel so much better eating clean. (duh!) Thank you again Cathy for allowing me to do the reset with you!

And while it’s time for me to go start dinner, I totally kicked today’s ass.  I love starting off the week like this! I did some Full Moon Yoga, took Holly on a walk while Bradley rode his bike, cleaned Brooke’s room (my little packrat) did a ton of laundry, hit up the post office, the bank, got Bradley’s hair cut and went grocer shopping.  I just took a few minutes to myself sipping on my faux coffee to squeeze in some more “do you time” of blogging.  Feels damn good!  Off to do dinner, bath and bedtime.

Inner Mean Girl Vs. Authentic Self

Happy Thursday friends!! What a beautiful day to be alive.

I’ve been doing some real estate work, but took a quick lunch break here at home because I wanted to share my progress that I’ve been making with my Life Coach Lindsay Preston.

In week 3 we really went deep diving into our past experiences and ruffled up all sorts of things.  I told you how I had to write out my life’s “Timeline” and it had some not so pleasant things from my past. We all do though right? We had to pull our bullet holes as Lindsay calls them.  My parents’ divorce was a super hard one for me, as was my youngest sister getting into drugs.  I also realized that while I loved teaching and valued my education, when I got my Master’s Degree, I swept it under the rug like NBD.  Whaaaaa???  I remember Joe taking me to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate and taking my photo while I held up my certificate.  But I remember NOT wanting to go to the ceremony to walk across the stage or inviting anyone to celebrate me.  Which is weird, because if you know me I love to celebrate and looking back this makes me sad.  I know that my family was in a pretty bad spot and I recall my middle sister graduating a few years prior and it was a disaster with the step-mom/dad and mom situation.  Either way, I realized that I have a VERY hard time enjoying myself if I am well aware that others won’t enjoy themselves either. I spend way too much time worrying about other people’s happiness than just focusing on my own.  Phew. That was a lot.  I also know how far I’ve come with my familial relationships.  No one is perfect, I get that, neither am I, hello, I am only human.  But the fact is we have experiences that may hurt us or leave us wounded and if we don’t spend time healing these wounds, they tend to continue showing up.  Examples? My dad and step-mom got married without my sisters and I knowing and/or being there.  My step-brother was there, but man did that one sting! I had to forgive and move forward on that one and it wasn’t easy.  Another biggie?  My mom didn’t come to my wedding.  Yup.  Pretty much the biggest day of my life and she wasn’t there.  Since that was almost 9 years ago, I’ve spent a lot of time working on healing that one as well.  Present day, I speak to all members of my family and we are all just doing our best.  I work on coming from a place of love, and try so very hard to use compassion when dealing with everyone. Why am I sharing this? Because we ALL HAVE OUR OWN ISH TO DEAL WITH!!  You can spend time crying and playing victim, or you can dig into that wound a little bit, feel the pain and eventually heal and move on.  I will say there are some people, family or not, that don’t play a role in my life and I’ve learned to accept that and be at peace with that too.

We spent time learning about our Inner Mean Girl (IMG) and who she is.  You may have heard this voice a time or two; it’s the one being negative, also known as the ego, limited beliefs, doubting yourself, correcting weaknesses, being fake or inauthentic.  She’s the one who will hold you back from being your true self, otherwise known as your Authentic Self (AS).

When you’re living in your AS, you are confident, original, aware, positive, loving unconditionally, and focused on your strengths.  I called this “being aligned” prior to my work with Lindsay, as I am a huge Gabrielle Bernstein fan.  What I didn’t realize was how normal it was to find yourself shifting between your IMG and your AS.  More importantly, I struggled with how to get out of my IMG and back into my AS. I didn’t know why this was happening, and that’s where this Unstoppable Course has really done me so much good.

One of my top strengths is Input, so I need to know all the things. I enjoy reading/researching and understanding how things work, but I have NEVER taken so much time to figure out how I work.  How is it that I have floated around for 37 years, fairly well, without truly getting to the core of ME?  I’m not sure, but I am ready to take myself to the next level.

Knowing the difference between My IMG and AS is so important for me to reach that next level. I have never labeled my “negative feelings” or understood why I would feel awesome for a bit and then slip back into a weird funk– NO MORE!!! The funks will be less and less and I can truly envision myself always being authentically me.

My two top IMGs: perfectionist and people pleaser. While I really thought I had my perfectionistic issues handled when I had my children — hello nothing goes as planned! But the reality is, I still beat myself up when things aren’t going ‘right’ or rather, the way I see that they should. I always have super high expectations of myself and others.  As demonstrated from my memories above, you can see that my people pleasing can go so far as to shrink myself and my successes, but this is coming to an end. I realize that there is enough out there for anyone to be happy, financially free and have whatever dream come true that she may be chasing; you just have to want it badly enough to do the time and work.  I believe that I am a nurturer by nature, which makes me an excellent mom and wife (especially to a man with Crohn’s Disease) but I also know it can hinder me from taking care of me.

One of the major takeaways after discovering my inner mean girls is that I’m always in control, my IMG is not. She may try to sabotage me, tell me not to post something, not follow through with a plan or idea, but the fact is she’s trying to protect me. I’ve been hurt (haven’t we all) through the years and I’ve built in some tactics to “keep me safe” but as we all know, safe means stunted. It means I can’t grow, change, take risks and see how amazing I can be.

Now that I understand my IMG, I know I can simply tell her that I’m fine and she doesn’t need to worry. When I’m living in my authentic self, I feel free to be me. That’s one of my mantras! I feel calm and intentional. I connect with people better, my relationships thrive, I come from a place of love and understanding vs a “the world is out to get me.” I recognize what no longer serves me and am at peace with the people and things I have let go.

If you’re starting to get an itch to see if you and Lindsay would be a fabulous match, head on over and take her FREE assessment and hop on her FREE call! Ladies I am telling you, no one wants to do the work, but everyone wants to rewards.  If you want to live into your best self with no regrets at the end of your days, wait no more.  I believe that if you’re reading this, it’s a sign that you should just do it.  Spend the $77 and put you first and become a Life Luver.  (Using code JENN20 to save that $20!!)

PS this was me, being my authentic self, opening up and sharing some pretty vulnerable moments from my past.  The work I have been doing on myself is truly showing me how amazing it is, to feel free to be me. 

Amazon Favorite Finds

I’m sure everyone loves their Amazon accounts, but I also love seeing what everyone buys!! I’ve found some great deals and sometimes forget that I can easily purchase items online and have it there in 2 days.  I have to say my favorite use for Amazon is when we vacation! Last summer I ordered a box of pull-ups and a big thing of wipes down to SC when my mom got married.  It was so convenient! Granted, I’m super pumped to not be spending money on those any more, but it’s the simplicity of that, right?!

I figured I’d share a few of my favorite/current Amazon Purchases just in case you may find them helpful too!

Him:

Core Water – My husband strives to drink 2 of these waters a day.  Having Crohn’s he is always trying to stay hydrated and get in extra electrolytes etc.  This is basically the only water he drinks, so it must be darn good!  I do drink it occasionally, but it’s a little pricey and I don’t mind my Brita water.  The other plus is that the cap is a cup, so he likes to let the kids drink out of that if they’re thirsty.  No slobber and no spills! #winning

White tees – A guy staple right?  I thought these were good quality and an even better price.  He wears a v-neck tee daily and those things tend to wear out quickly.

Me:

Rose Gold/Marble Phone Case – I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on this fab phone case! I hate buying new ones, but this price ($11.99 PLUS a coupon!!) I couldn’t beat it. Plus it’s pink, pretty and my old one fell apart, so this was a good buy!

Dandy Blend –   So I think I’ve mentioned a few times that I can’t drink coffee because of my reflux.  Well, I stumbled upon this Dandelion brew and you guys, it’s amazing! Sometimes you just want that coffee flavor/feel and tea just doesn’t do it.  Apparently you can cut coffee and go to this without any symptoms but I can’t verify that.  I can say that it’s tasty and I have been enjoying with some NutPods creamer.  It is excellent iced too! Dandelion is wonderful for your liver as well.

Collagen Peptides – My knees/joints seem to get sore and achy more often.  I guess I’m getting old or something, but regardless, I try to slip this into my tea, smoothies or dandy blend. It has no taste and it’s supposed to be so good for you. I have a Matcha Peach flavor too, but this can go in anything due to the no flavor.

Workout Top (Lululemon dupe) – There’s an extra 5% coupon on this too! I did see fellow instagrammers wearing this and it’s definitely worth a share and the buy! It’s so cute; I got the black and I love the tie back with the mesh.  Fun, sporty and makes me feel a little like a bad ass when I’m at the gym. I got a small. (I’m 5’7 currently 140 lbs) It comes in different colors and is only $15.99!! Washes well, and I hang dry.

Off Shoulder Romper – Again I saw a few bloggers with this and my friend Ann scooped one up as well.  It’s the perfect thing to throw on and road trip in, or even travel by plane!  It’s comfy and all you need are cute sandals, a pair of statement earrings and clutch to look totally put together with zero effort!

Dry Shampoo –  I have tried super expensive dry shampoos and I still come back to this brand. I love that I can order it on Amazon and save money, plus not walk into an Ulta and spend all my money on more makeup I don’t need.  I find that I can get a day or two extra in between washings because this stuff is so good.

Kids:

Bubble gun – these were actually a gift to our friends’ kids, and they loved them!  Their daughter turned 3 and she just loved it! They tend to sell these for more money at fairs, carnivals etc and so they just brought the one we gifted so they didn’t have to buy one when we all attended a festival not too long ago.  Can’t go wrong with bubbles as gifts for kids!

Tie Dye Chalk – This was a gift as well, but I just thought it was cute add on for Summer.  There’s nothing better than kids chalk drawings and this was a fun extra with the tie-dye element.

Dance Costume Bag  – I dragged my feet on buying this and I don’t know why.  With clear pockets, a lot of them, and everything zippered up, this is a MUST have for any Dance mom!  I finally grabbed one for her rehearsal/recital and it was so nice to see everything clearly when we scramble to change from costume to costume.  It held her shoes, tights, costumes, makeup and bows.  Total game changer; now I need one of those racks to hang everything on!

Thermos- I only wish I bought this sooner! Brooke doesn’t love sandwiches, though she will eat them.  She does love leftover pastas, macaroni and other warm lunches, so this was honestly the best purchase for her! She says that it keeps her meatballs warm just like out of the oven! I know in the Summer months this isn’t going to be popular, but mamas, grab one for Fall!!

What are your favorite Amazon buys? I would love to know!

Most People are Good

I have lots of thoughts and feelings, but for some reason this song is speaking for me today.  If you haven’t taken a moment and listened to this Luke Bryan song, please take some time and hear it out.  Piggy backing off of my post yesterday, we must have choose to see the good, the positive and be optimistic.  That is, if we want to be happy.

Have a beautiful Saturday friends.

Mindset Matters

It’s Friday beautiful friends!!

The sun is shining.

Hubby is at the land with Bailey girl.

I’m sitting on our back deck doing what makes my heart happy: writing.

Baby girl is at school, learning and having fun on her “Culture Day” and I’m allowing baby boy tablet time while I feed my soul.

It’s not easy, this whole self-care thing.  We have been so engrained to work, push, hustle, care for others, put everyone else first, bla bla bla bla. But friends, YOU MATTER.  Every time I see another mama doing some self-care I just wanna jump through the screen and hug her.  Yes girl.  Be a queen.  Meditate. Enjoy that glass of wine.  Do some yoga. Read that book.  Lay in the sun.  Relish in the massage.  Take that workout class. High five!!!  It’s amazing at how much more you can provide to the rest of the world after you’ve taken care of you.

I’ve been very attuned lately with the universe and the quiet messages it’s sending me.  This week is of course all about gratitude, but also just a little bit more. 

I was once told it (in so many words) it’s amazing that I cook all that I do in my not so fancy kitchen.  And I get it.  I don’t have 10 foot ceilings, white cupboards, light grey walls, marble countertops and tons of island space, double ovens, Viking stoves– you get the picture.

However, what I do have is a passion for taking care of my loved ones and a love for creating delicious meals that fuel our bodies.  I love chopping, stirring, mixing, baking and of course eating! When I play Frank Sinatra, pour a glass of wine and get to cooking, it never feels like work. Sure, I would love a big new fancy kitchen with all the bells and whistles, and it’s certainly on my vision board, but the fact is I know to enjoy the now.

At my chiropractor appointment this week we talked about this.  I feel like he not only aligns my back/body properly but also my heart and mind!  (Is it just me, or do you really find some people with the BEST energy and wanting to surround yourself with them all of the time?!) Anyway, he lives in a modest home in a nice, but busy area, and has his practice in the home he resides in.  He went on and on to tell me how much he’d love a big fancy house, new this and new that, but it also felt really great to be in the financial spot he’s in.  His son is going off to college in the Fall and essentially they are debt free at the moment.

I say all this because we can all get caught up in wanting more, the best of the best, and being unhappy and unfulfilled with where we are in life and what we have.  Now I’m not saying to not dream big and crush some big old goals, but if you’re not enjoying what you have right now, or feeling gratefully abundant in all that you do have, maybe your mindset needs a little shift.  God will not give more to us if we aren’t ready.  If you find yourself looking left and right and feeling sorry for yourself, it’s time to take a step back and truly be happy for all the blessings in your life.

It ebbs and flows, and there are times I wish we already had our home built on our land with a swimming pool and all the fixings, but I have learned that we must time in the timing.  It will happen when it’s supposed to happen.  Life seems to be one big juggling act with so many moving parts; but beauty will always be in the silence.

The sticky hands of little ones who helped bake with you in your not so fancy kitchen.

The cuddles of your small dog on cold day.

The peace and tranquility of enjoying what makes your heart happy.

The tapping of your fingers on the keys of a laptop.

The birds chirping sweet songs.

The warmth of the sun and the cooling of the breeze.

The radiant colors of the potted flowers.

The smile from your significant other after a long hard day.

These moments are what make us.

So if you’re feeling a little off, make a list of things that bring you joy and take some time to check them off. Go volunteer, if that’s on your heart.  Go bake your friend some cookies.  Visit that grandparent.  Send your mom a sweet text.  Write. Read. Bathe. Whatever it is that you need to do, get grateful and work on getting your mindset right.

Hey there…

Happy Thursday!!

Whew what a weekend last weekend and what a week this week! So many fun things friends! Joe’s cousin got married last Saturday at a gorgeous spot–it was actually the set of Biggest Loser! The grounds were quite muddy, so it made for lots of wet fun!  They have been together as long as Joe and I, so it was a beautiful ceremony filled with lots of love.

Brooke had her dance recital and she was just a doll! (Blog to come!)

I have been plowing along on my 14 Day Tastefully Simple Reset.  I have had ZERO grains, like NO rice, bread, pasta etc.  My carbs have been coming from fruits and veggies I suppose?! I am learning a whole lot and honestly haven’t missed bread yet!  I am really looking forward to a “Jenn style” breakfast tomorrow! I’ll be having soft boiled eggs, tomato and avocado!  I do miss my Starbucks and wine, but I’m surviving haha!

I also came down with a bit of a Spring cold; I was hoping it was just allergies but it’s just making its way through my chest, cough, sinuses, low energy, stuffy/runny nose, and plugged ears!  I’m hoping I’m on the tail end of it.  Good news is, I finished a book! #silverlining  It’s called The First Mistake and it comes out on June 11th! Such a good page turning Summer read.

This week in Life Coaching with Lindsay is a Bonus week, as we went really into depth with some of our bullet holes etc. so it’s a bit of a lighter load, which I am much appreciative.  I cannot stress enough to you, how much of an impact me taking the time to work on, heal, and invest this time and energy into myself has been.  I am able to give so much more of myself, my authentic self, and I cannot wait to see the people I get to serve in my future.  I still have a lot of work left to do, but this journey has been SO impactful on so many levels.  I feel the tides parting amongst people and things who no longer serve me.  I am feeling more spiritual as I continue to embrace the slowness, and conquer some of my inner mean girl feelings.  {You can still use the code JENN20 to get $20 off of the Life Luvers package fyi!!}

I took the time and finalized the kids’ summer camps.  Phew! That feels so good to have off my to do list.  I’ve got them trying out a sports sampler camp, a basketball camp, Brooke’s doing a pre-competition evaluation dance camp to see where she should be placed next year.  I also have my little guy going to the Y camp 2 different weeks.  (One is Superhero week, how cool!?) and Brooke’s got a week of camp through the town program, which is held at her school.  All the camps are half day or just an hour or so.  Nothing major, but enough to keep my love bugs busy and socialized! I am not gonna lie, I could have put them into longer/fuller sessions, but I am being a selfish mama and making sure we get enough time together at home or wherever else the Summer may take us!

Cheers (with my sparkling raspberry water) to this beautiful week.  I hope that no matter what you’re going through, you take some quiet time to reflect and appreciate the goodness in your life.  The universe has so many gifts to give; we just have to stop and listen.

#FactsOnfriday

  • TGIF!! I’m excited for a busy weekend– #embracingthechaos
  • It’s the last day of May; like whoa!
  • I feel like I’m winning at life when I close all my Apple watch rings & make my steps hit.
  • I need to stop eating ALL OF THE THE THINGS
  • I am LOVING my mani/pedi color!!
  • Having a me day was much needed.  (mamas, do NOT forget to #doyou!!)
  • Summer can hurry please!
  • My neighbor and I are using Pinterest to come up with some Summer Bucket List ideas for the kiddos.
  • This week/weekend are SO busy, but I’m still trying to enjoy the moments.
  • We have a wedding this weekend and we need to wear flats–SOS!! Where to find a pair stat?!
  • Joe’s been asked to speak at another AFG conference and be on the panel—New Orleans, here we come!
  • Next week I have a ‘book club’ meetup–cannot wait to have some girl time!
  • I can’t believe I only have the Summer and one year left with Bradley home with me. Where does the time go?
  • Summer songs are out in full force!! (Hello, “Bad Guy”)
  • I’ve been so bad at reading lately; I did get further into one during my pedicure today.
  • I’m overly excited for a spray tan (tan fat looks better than pale fat hehe)
  • We are looking for more houses to buy as we are almost at full capacity!
  • I’m obsessed with this Dandyblend faux coffee.  It tastes so good and helps fill that desire for coffee! It doesn’t give me reflux issues and I can drink it at night without having trouble falling asleep.
  • I’m still loving the work I am doing on myself (even when it’s hard, I know it will be so helpful and benefit me in the long run!)
  • Brooke had her dance rehearsal Wednesday and I balled.  My daughter was SO flipping amazing on stage and literally lit up the whole show. I am so proud of her!!
  • I’m listening to an amazing book called The Big Leap (e-book is free with Amazon prime!)
  • I’m in week 2 of my step-bet and still have a love/hate relationship with it.
  • The dogs love when I’m stepping because they get lots of extra walks!
  • Monday I start the Tastefully Simple 14 Day Reset.
    • No joke, I’m scared! Hahaha Only because I love me some grains. Like legit love. This will be tricky, but I have faith!
    • I’m not sure what will be harder, no vino or no starbs (sad face!)

Wellness Wednesday: Unstoppable Woman

I am woman, hear me ROAR!  Is it just me or does even the name of this course want to make you just jump up and scream?! In a good way of course.  Wowza ladies — I am entering into my 3rd week of The Become an Unstoppable Woman course with Lindsay Preston.  Can I just stop and say a few words?  And no, I’m not just blowing smoke, nor am I lying, but you guys, LIFE IS SO FREAKING GREAT!!!  Is it perfect?  Heck no.  I’m not looking for perfection though, I am working towards two (yup, just two!) goals at the moment.  These are my 90 Day Goals that I set with Lindsay on a personal VIP call with her.  (Totally worth every stinkin penny to get on that phone with this incredible woman!!)  Remember, a goal without an action is just a day dream. It’s important that your goals be measurable, attainable and within a time frame.

She took me step by step on crafting these goals.  The first goal kind of came out naturally as I had been thinking about it for a bit; I felt like it was something kind of gnawing at me from the inside out.  The second one took some time discussing with Lindsay thoughts that were swirling around in my mind.

My First Goal:

I will be able to communicate who I am at a level 10.  (scale 1-10) I will not hide/skirt around my needs/wants/desires.  At the end of 90 days I will be FREE TO BE ME.  I will live in my authentic voice and not worry about what others think about me. Right now I feel like my communication about me is at a 6; I am uncomfortable celebrating WINS and truly share what’s on my heart at times.

Mantra:  I am free to be me. 

My Second Goal:

By the end of Unstoppable, I’ll be at a 10 with my time management.  I will feel less chaotic, and there will be a flow with my days.  I currently feel like I’m at a 3– feeling unproductive, flying around the house/driving here, there and everywhere trying to keep up with everyone and everything with very little time “for me.”

Mantra:  My time is valuable. 

It took me some time to think of a good mantra, because I wanted it to be short and sweet, as well as effective!! I have noticed GREAT improvements with my mind just by repeating the original mantra I came up with in the Life Luvers course, I am worthy.  

{Remember you can still use code: JENN20 and save $20 and grab the Life Luvers course for just $77!!}

I will be totally honest and say that I kind of thought mantras were dumb.  I have tried affirmations before but they didn’t really do much for me and never really made me feel any different.  The only thing I can attribute this current success is that Lindsay’s course took me through a process (which is backed by neuroscience!) to really delve into my inner beliefs, subconscious thoughts and figure out why the heck I feel stuck!!

In module 1 we really discussed the need to write more.  Like a lot more.  Like every. Single. Day. More. 30+ minutes you should write and reflect.

Did you know writing can:

  • increase self awareness and you’ll feel less crappy?
  •  increase your thinking ability and you’ll be more authentic
  • “get you out of your own head”
  • reduce stress
  • open yourself up to self-love/compassion

I find it very odd when people don’t want to love on themselves, or think about what it is they truly want.  The biggest and most important relationship you can have is with yourself.  (I’m sure some will roll their eyes and say, no it should be with God but I’m not here to have a religious debate) and that’s fine.  But if God’s first, I sure hope you’re a super close second.  No one will be with you, in your mind, in your heart, and for the rest of YOUR LIFE.  If you’re unhappy, jealous, insecure, frustrated, feeling like the world is out to get your, mad at this person, ticked off about that…then you’ve got some work to do girlfriend. The good news? You don’t have to do it alone.

If anyone tells you that you shouldn’t work on you or ‘do you’ or spend time with yourself, I AM CALLING MAJOR BS!! That person most likely has some severe (and I mean SEVERE) IMG (inner mean girl) issues that she has not nor is ready to address.  I will say that it has been super hard for me to put myself first, as a mom and wife to a very busy/hard working man, I often leave myself off the to-do list.  I may not take the time to meal prep to eat like I should, invest time at the gym/exercise, enjoy quiet time with a book, write in my journal, tap my fingers on these old keys…and since taking Lindsay’s courses, something major has happened.  I feel as though I’m becoming who I am truly meant to be.

Another tool that’s been SO useful is what Lindsay refers to as “Do You Time.”

  • it is not selfish
  • it is needed
  • it is more than okay to prioritize yourself

My list of “do you time” includes things like:

  • Zumba class
  • blogging
  • reading
  • cooking/baking
  • walks outside
  • tea time
  • long hot shower
  • specific playlists (soft jazz or even some gangsta rap, depending on my moods!)
  • spa day
  • slowing down
  • taking photos

I’m so excited for this continued journey and am going to be opening up more on my next post about my personal ‘bullet holes’ aka, limiting beliefs that are causing me to not progress further.  They’re not fun to talk about, bring up, or even think about, but I am sharing my story here in hopes that it inspires another woman to be able to work more on herself.

I’ve been truly connecting with a divine presence lately and feel as though I am called to be more vulnerable, authentic and share some of my pains/hurts in hopes that it helps others.  If I can help even just one more woman out there, then I know my words here are not useless.  I am here to inspire, that is all!

(Sneak peek:  My timeline of my memories starts with me being born in 1981, my family, attending college 1999-2003, landing my dream job teaching, my parents’ divorce, a bad relationship/breakup, meeting my now husband, my Master’s degree, parental drama, and much more! I will reveal some of my ‘bullet holes’ from these memories.)

Don’t forget that Lindsay offers a free assessment for you to see if you’d be a good match to work with her and become a Life Luver or even better, an Unstoppable Woman! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to e-mail me jenndellefave@gmail and I’ll happily share more thoughts on this life coaching experience.

Weekend Love

Happy Memorial Day!

It was a gorgeous weekend here weather wise!  The 585 has finally broken its streak of rain and cold.  It may almost be June but we are so grateful that the sun has arrived and to get outside and feel its magical powers!

I hit up a Zumba class first thing Friday morning and then headed over to grab my niece for the weekend.  These three goofballs had SO much fun together and got along so nicely.

Joe had off so we took them to the Zoo (which Joe and I honestly don’t love seeing the animals caged up not living their in their natural habitats…but it is exciting to show the kids exotic animals.)

I have some exciting news to share too!  My friend Cathy with Tastefully Simple asked me (one of two!) people to do a 14 Day Reset Beta testing.  It’s a low carb meal plan and they provide all the recipes, snacks and menu plan!  I paid $150 for TS products (which I already know that I love!) and I will have to grocery shop for produce and meats etc.   I cannot wait to document and share my experience!

I took these three monkeys to the mall so that the girls could get matching outfits.  Of course they had just had lunch before we left, but were still HUNGRY for pretzels!

They also picked out a BFF necklace–do any of you remember these?! LOL

I felt a little bad because bubs wanted in on all the action, but as you may know, girls just have a special bond and secret handshakes.  I know he’ll have a buddy one day too, but he was always asking to be included and “take my picture too” it was so sweet.

In other news, my sister Brianna had her first Body Building competition!  She placed 3rd and although I couldn’t be there, I cheered her on in spirit! So proud of you girl!

The kids jumping for joy that Aunt Bri placed!

Saturday night I took some “do you time” in the kitchen.  I had my group coaching call and brought up one of my memories that had ‘bullet holes’ so it was important that I spent some time enjoying.  I’ll be sharing more on my bullet holes soon! Stay tuned!

I cooked up a bunch of veggies, peeled, sliced & roasted potatoes and had a pot roast in the crockpot.  I enjoyed some of my favorite (inexpensive) Pinto Grigio Cavitt and played some tunes.  The kitchen has always been my happy place and cooking/chopping/sautéing/stirring is always so therapeutic to me.

Joe got home from work and Brooke’s been practicing to ride her bike without training wheels.  She’s making it a bit of a distance before she tumbles, but I snapped this shot because it just makes me so happy.  Even though he’s still in his work clothes, he jumped right out of his truck to try and help her.  THIS is the man I married–ALL IN!  He doesn’t care that his nice Banana Republic clothes could get ruined.

We also had a little spa night!  I grabbed a few face masks and put them on the girls–Brooke thought it was the best thing ever!

Sunday we wore the Old Navy dresses! I actually scooped mine up last year, and the girls honestly picked theirs out first and I then said, I have one just like it! They were so excited to all match and it made for quite the photo!  We hit up The Revelry for Brunch.

How cute are they?

I told hubby we needed a selfie.

Again, Bradley wanting to be in on the action!

And what’s a #brunch without a mimosa? Just sayin.

Adri went home and we took a little Sunday drive.  The bay was a little cool, but it was so pretty out.

He’s always loved standing on rocks…

My sweet girl.  She actually got to feed them as some nice girls next to us had a big bag of bird seed/food to share.

Joe had to work all day Memorial Day but I enjoyed my time with the kiddos.  I had my coaching call in the morning (made sure to grab a Starbucks Latté so I could focus/recall alllll the bullet holes) and then we hit up a park, grocery store and did household chores.  Nothing crazy, and I felt rather depleted after recalling some ridiculous stuff I’ve been through.  We all have, I’m no different.  I’ll be opening up more on all that in the upcoming week, so if you’ve been feeling like learning more about the life coaching journey, stay tuned! I’m going to be as open and transparent as I can be!!

Have a beautiful week my friends.

Some Weekend Vibes

Happy Monday!

The front flowers look so pretty and so does our little girl!  This Spring weather has been so wonky, but we are enjoying when we can.

This little guy found these sunnies in the $1 bin at Target.  So cute!

We stopped up at the local Mall to see Brooke’s artwork! She made this adorable zebra that was put on display.  We are so proud of her hard work.  She always tells us that she’s an artist.

The weather was actually decent enough to hit up the Lilac Festival with some friends.

If this girl isn’t living her best life, I dunno who is!!

She really REALLY enjoyed the cotton candy.  (The little bit we allowed!!)

I made sure to take some tea time and a chat with my mama over the weekend.

We also spent a little time at the land before the storm rolled through!

Brooke had gifted me a Sunflower plant for Mother’s Day that she planted at school.  Joe and I wanted to plant it at the land since there’s always sun, and our current house is rather shady.  We planted it on the hill and no joke within 5 minutes, the kids played on it and crushed it…so I’m not sure if it will grow?! Oy!

I will say this mama is OVER the hustle and bustle and cannot wait to build on this beautiful land!  There’s something so special about being in the country.  I could just watch my babies play all day long here.

Make a wish!

Friday Quotes

It’s been a good week and here we are Friday woo hoo!  We are hoping to enjoy the warm weather (finally!!) and maybe hit up a local Lilac festival.  It’s a slow start to our Friday here and I’ve been doing work while sitting up in my bed.  Perks of being an entrepreneur I suppose!  It comes with a 24/7 job it seems, but the ability to pick and choose when to work our businesses is really nice.

I have a lot of quotes floating around on my phone so I thought I’d share them here as we enter a Full Moon weekend.  Something that I have been working on is really letting my authentic self shine through.   How long has it been since you’ve allowed your true self just be?  We are constantly bombarded through social media, TV, neighbors, co-workers, parents, teachers on how we should act or what we should think.

Listening to a podcast this week, I heard this quote and it is SO true! You need to do your research, but real estate is such a great way to start earning additional income. It will take time, but it will be worth it.

How true is this? Small actions daily will amount to loads of success!

Since working with my life coach Lindsay, I have been so in tune with what I want to bring to this world, the shift of not caring so much about what others think is finally happening and I truly feel like I’m living my purpose.

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Happy Friday friends!!

Show us Your Books Link up

Life According to Steph

 

Happy Tuesday!!

I’m so stinkin excited to be linking up today with Steph and this book link up.  I haven’t shared my books that I’ve read so far all in one blog, so I thought it’d be good to start! Hopefully it will continue to inspire me to hit my goal of reading 52 books this year.

I have finished 18 books so far; some have been audiobooks and some I have actually read.  I hope to actually sit and read more in the Summer months, but I am happy so far with the progress I have made.

If you’re interested in following my reading journey, checkout my Instagram and look under my book highlight to see what I’ve read!

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This book came highly recommended and it was a quick listen.  I think it was a bit over-played, as it didn’t exactly live up the the hype, but I can see how it rocked the YA world.

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This was a great and fast listen!! A retired US Navy Seal shares his insights on how to have continued success by doing the simplest of things.  Great motivation!

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I do love Kristin Hannah’s style writing, and this did not disappoint.  If you enjoy reading about survival in Alaska, plus mix in a father who battles a severe mental disorder and a wife/mom who pretty much refuses to leave his side, you will enjoy this book.  The character reminds me a bit of the memoir Educated but it has its own twists and turns.

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I thought this would be a really great suspenseful page turner—it wasn’t.  Between the British verbiage and it being a slow go, I wasn’t super impressed.  My bestie and I were determined to finish it though, and we did!

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This has been on my TBR list forever and it was good!! I feel like Brene drops truth bombs like the best of them, and this book was a good listen to boost your sense of authenticity and desire to open up more.  Can’t go wrong with Brown’s work!

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Good old Rachel Hollis recommended this one to me, and it was an okay read.  Not much ground breaking and she lost me in some of her religion chapters—just not my thing.  It definitely is good to hear other mamas say it’s ok to slow down and to stop trying to be so perfect–so if you’re feeling a little lost and lonely as a mom, this may be worth picking up.

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Switching gears a bit, I listened to this in hopes to really broaden my financial horizons.  Unfortunately I didn’t pick up anything terribly new and I told my husband he could have written a better book.   It was cool to hear about our business (rent to own/lease option) and how we’re definitely being smart with our money and investments rather than having all liabilities.

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This was an Advanced Reader copy and gosh, how incredible!!  The love story, the mother/daughter relationship, family genes…and even a bit of a twist with some history (9/11) playing a role.  This was beautifully told and not something I would normally pick up, so I am so happy I was given a copy!  Great writing style too…loved it!

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Our book club picked this kidnapping mystery and it was a bit gory for me but I plowed through!  It took a bit for me to get into, but once I was in, I literally stayed up until 1am to finish it.

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LOVED this one!! It’s cheesy, and not incredibly written but boy did it bring me right back to college and all the feels of thinking about boys and dating, parties, fitting in, etc.   Most of us have had at least one (or a few) boyfriends that just didn’t deserve the time of day after the first (or 5th) breakup.  Super quick read, probably great for the beach!  I enjoyed getting lost in this story.

Aw, yeah!! GWYF (Girl Wash Your Face) was a great little appetizer, but Rachel brings out the big guns in this one.  Most of you won’t be ready to hear what she has to say, or disagree with most of it.  But some of us?  We get it, and thank you Rachel for always pushing us to be better than we were before.

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Oh this little tiny gem of a book! If you sell anything, GRAB YOURSELF A COPY!!

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This was an ok listen.  Nothing really standing out to me weeks later, but it had some good info.  I feel like most PD books are repeating themselves so I have taken a little break from them…

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Loved this one!! I have described it as a ‘slow burn’ but I really enjoyed the way it was written!  All of the band members tell the story and it’s all sex drugs and rock and roll.

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Before my “PD break” I did listen to this one…he does a great job at explaining why some companies (Google, WalMart, Apple) succeed and why others don’t.  I appreciated it as a business owner and would recommend it if you enjoy learning about the science behind how the brain works etc.

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Love and Other Words—ahhh.  A super great listen, but it has some plot twists that make your head spin!  True love, the loss of a parent, and other tangled pieces create this story.  If you’re traveling, scoop this up on audio!

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Lastly, I just discovered the app HOOPLA which provides more free titles through the library.  My bestie finished this over her Spring break and legit had a book hangover for weeks, so I knew I had to read this.  15 hours and I was done within days you guys! Historical fiction, WWI & II–these characters’ lives intertwine and you learn some real crazy from the point of view of a woman spy.  Must read!!

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What have you been reading?!

Mother’s Day Weekend

Friday was a date day!! Yippeee!  Joe and I had a few things to do, but we were able take some much needed kid free time and enjoy ourselves as well.  We were able to use up some gift cards at the mall and found some amazing deals on shoes, and enjoyed a quick lunch at Champps.

After that we were excited to check out this place!  They have fun smoothies and drinks and you can add CBD to them.

I had this lovely lemon ginger elixir and picked up some almond butter with CBD.

The kiddos both gave me their mother’s day gifts early so they wouldn’t die! Brooke grew this sunflower at school and drew an adorable drawing on this bag.

Bradley had Joe come in as his special person and help him plant this for me.

I just love these little gifts!

We also hit up Walmart Friday for new bikes for the kiddos, had a Polish dinner at some friends and picked up some herbs for the Summer.  Joe planted the basil in this box.

I also grabbed a few hanging plants for our deck; pink is always my favorite!

The sun was out a bit Saturday and though it was chilly, it was nice!

I try to stick with semi-shade plants since we don’t get a ton of sun when the trees fill in.

I thought this planter was cute!

Joe planted some of these pansies from the preschool fundraiser; aren’t they so pretty?  He also left the house around 9:15 Saturday and ran errands until around 4pm–I was able to work on my blog, life coaching and catch up on some of the dishes etc.

More herbs!

For dinner we tried out some drumsticks in the smoker (they were okay) and I did a little caprese salad and naan pizzas.

Sunday we went over to to see my Step-mom and to our surprise, my step-brother Tyler had flown home for Mother’s Day!  I didn’t snap may photos, as we were all catching up etc. but I did grab one of my little guy and I.

And the one who made me a mommy!

We got home just in time for Joe to cook up some dinner; I was craving Sirloin burgers and man he didn’t disappoint!  Toasted Brioche buns, smoked bacon, avocado and an egg.

Dreams are made of this ladies and gentlemen!!

I was able to end my day with a little rosé and while I did read this book a bit, I also finished up The Alice Network audiobook.  I can’t wait until the sun comes back out and I can do some reading out on our gorgeous deck!!

It was a great mix of Joe & Jenn time, alone time and family time this weekend.  Never long enough, I always want everyone around just a little more!! This weather is supposed to warm up towards the end of the week, but I fear I may have to bring in all of my plants as I read/heard the SNOW word.  Goodness.

I hope you had a great weekend and an amazing week ahead!!

Claiming it’s Time for Me & Creating a Life I Love

I did it! My 21 Day Life Luvers Challenge is complete!  In true Lindsay fashion, I celebrated this WIN by enjoying a date day with my husband on Friday!  You guys, I’m so proud of myself!! I can’t begin to tell you what a big deal this was for me, but I do hope to share how valuable this experience has been and what some of the major takeaways were.

First of all, if you roll your eyes at Life Coaching and think it’s a bunch of hog wash, then this post may not be for you.  As with anything in life, everything does not work for everybody.  That’s OK!  I’m not here to convince or beg people to want to better themselves, my job is to simply share what I have learned through my own experiences, the good, bad & ugly, in hopes that I can help out another soul.  When you are ready, the teacher always appears.

Lindsay Preston is selective with whom she will take on as a client; as I mentioned in a previous blog post, she does offer a FREE assessment to see if you’d be a good match! {Here!}  Straight from her site, here’s a quick outline of the type of person that would be a good fit for The Life Luvers Course:

This course is right for you if…

  • You’re a go-getter woman who’s tired of just “putting up” with certain areas of life. You want to finally learn how to overcome the crap that’s weighing you down.
  • You KNOW that life can be better than it is right now, you just don’t know how to create that change.
  • You enjoy learning about yourself and have a strong desire to learn the strategies to make your life feel easier and more successful.
  • You feel like life is living you vs. you living life and you’re tired of it. You’re ready to claim that it’s time for you to get what YOU want from life NOW!

 

While I recognize that my life is beautiful and abundant, and I know people think I should just ‘be happy’ with what I have; the truth is I am happy but I knew that there was more that I just wasn’t tapping into in becoming my true self.  I read a lot of books, I tune into my spiritual side, I take walks in nature, I meditate, I tried to find Jesus, I’m present in the moment, I listen to podcasts…but nothing was working! After completing this course I feel as if I am ready to take on the world!  No really, I am actually ready to start the next course Lindsay offers called Unstoppable Woman, but I feel so amazing.  I can’t say that the work was easy, or that it felt great going through the 21 days, but wowza, after completing this challenge I seriously feel like a rockstar.

We were to create a habit to stick to for 21 days, so that we could attain our goal (mine was to become calm and stress free, so I chose meditation.)  Turns out, that wasn’t exactly what I needed quite yet, so as I continued to trust the process, I focused less on making daily meditation happen, and more on just doing my course work and following through.  One of my biggest “a-ha” moments was that I am GUILTY of self-sabotage.  As soon as things get tough, aka the elusive work/life balance that doesn’t exist, I would quit on myself and just focus on Joe, kids, dogs, house, work. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

But do you know what happens when you don’t quit?  Beautiful things start to happen, that’s what!

  • I bonded with my mom as she sent me photos of my childhood.
  • I began sharing my thoughts more honestly, becoming, as Brene Brown would say, more vulnerable.
  • I moved more into my authentic self vs my inner mean girls
  • I was more understanding in some situations & less judgmental
  • I can recognize when that shift of authenticity vs inner mean girl (ego) is happening.
  • I started connecting with so many more women who are inspired by me, and I by them.
  • I learned it was OK and GOOD to put myself first and to celebrate my wonderful self more than just once in awhile.
  • I felt less resentment, anger, and stress once I overcame the hurdles of the IMG (inner mean girls)
  • I started teaching my children to be more responsible and less dependent on me.
  • I am less affected by comments or wasting my time feeling icky over people on the interwebs
  • I made an unedited video and poured my heart out on thoughts that have been brewing about for quite some time.
  • I’ve implemented more “do you time” while feeling good about it.
  • I celebrate my wins unapologetically

 

So yes, I may have had to face some realities and realized that change can be hard; nothing worth having comes easy!! I battled my inner mean girls here and there, but such is life, as long as you don’t quit, you will be successful!  With the Facebook Group and the Group Coaching Calls, you are NEVER alone!  The best part right now is the feeling that I have of accomplishing a goal and also having the tools to go back and use at any time!!  The 21 Day Life Luvers Challenge has a workbook that I would HIGHLY recommend because I just love flipping back through it and processing all that I learned.

You could FINALLY create all (and more!) of the life you imagine for yourself. 

Your dreams could start to become your reality!

If I had not taken this Life Luvers Challenge, I would have missed out on so much.  I wouldn’t possess the fool proof tools to help get me back on track when things get tough. I wouldn’t have the simple mantra to repeat in my mind, “I am worthy” when I am ready to quit on me.  And while I knew I was empathetic and perhaps an Empath, I would not know that it was my number one strength and what to freaking do with it!! I now realize the power of my ability to empathize, but also that when I am with negative or toxic people, how I have to protect my energy or be ready to rest/self-care when they’ve completely depleted me.  (I used to think maybe I was a little crazy, but now I understand and realize why I have had to end some relationships in my life.)

If you’re a go-getter woman who’s looking for the tools for life-long success, please do yourself a huge favor and checkout Lindsay’s coaching at www.LindsayEPreston.com. As a treat for my followers, Lindsay is offering a special $20 off  when you sign up for the Life Luvers Challenge at www.LifeLuversChallenge.com. Simply use the code JENN20 at checkout and you can start building the life you dream, yes, even if you already are living a life you love!  There is no better use of your time and money, than bettering you.  You sweet friend, are worth it.  Trust me!

Be sure to subscribe to my blog, checkout my Instagram and stay tuned as I become an Unstoppable Woman in Lindsay’s next life coaching course.  I am beyond pumped to get started as I just had my first call today setting up two big goals to work towards!  What are waiting for?!

Vlog: Being Kind and Doing You

I felt like sharing what was on my mind via a vlog the other day.  Fresh from the gym, super motivated to live my best life and I thought maybe someone would need to hear these words.  We are not perfect, no one is.  Isn’t life just about better than you were yesterday?  In a world where everyone is so quick to judge and tear one another down, I have been really looking inside myself and working towards being the best Jenn that I can be.  It’s really that simple friends.

 

Have a beautiful Thursday!

Maybe you Need to Read this…

Maybe you’ve been having some bad luck.

Maybe you’ve been told you can’t.

Maybe you’re holding onto some unknown belief or fear you haven’t tapped into you.

Maybe you think you’re not good enough.

Maybe you think you’re going to lose, fail or be made fun of.

I am here to tell you today that–

You are stronger than you think.

You are wiser than you know.

You are capable of so much more than you believe.

The sky is the limit, your mind will achieve what you tell it to.

Both of your bad days and good happen for a reason.

May your past be a lesson; learn from it well.

You don’t have to let the cycle repeat.

Every day is a new day to start fresh.

You don’t need anyone or anything to make you happy.

There’s a time to hustle, but also a time to rest.

You are worthy.

Your dreams, your passions, your desires–do not go to the grave with them still inside.

If you love to write, start a blog.

If you love to dance, join a class.

If you love to sing, buy a microphone and blare those speakers!

If you love people, become more involved.

If you love to cook, get in that kitchen!!

So often we allow ourselves to get bogged down by the “shoulds” of the world, or the crazy endless activities of things we “have to do.”

If I  feel like I’m sinking, that’s when I’ve learned I must retreat.  I must go find a quiet spot, which is hard, and I need to really listen to that still small voice inside me.  Perhaps it’s God, maybe it’s the universe, maybe I’m a little crazy and I just hear voices.

But seriously, last week when I was so overwhelmed with emotion, frustration and felt like I was losing control, I just got into my truck and drove, in the rain and parked.  I had on The Coffee House station on XM radio and it played all the right songs.  I felt like they had handpicked music to go along with my current feels.

I cried.

It rained, it really poured.

It felt so good to get that out…and to just think! Alone!

What do I need?

What do I want? 

What is my purpose?

And within a day, I actually discovered Trent Shelton whom I felt also spoke to me and he said, “You are purpose.”

We have such a small chance of even being put onto this earth, so that alone should give you enough purpose.

So many of us are just floating around with these amazing gifts, talents and beautiful parts of us that no one sees!!

We are scared.

We are afraid of what others may think, or say.

We can come up with a million and one reasons why we shouldn’t, couldn’t or won’t…

But friend, you must step away from that mindset and free yourself.

Put your words out there, regardless of what someone may say to you.

Upload your video to share your story, so that someone else may not feel alone.

Do not let the world (or rather the people in it) keep you from what you are meant to be or do.

Chances are, they’re hurting too and also need to read this.

Shine on, sweet friend…shine on and rise to your occasion!

Start your Day with a Song & a Smile

My kids love The Muppets and especially this adorable movie.  I remember seeing it in a theater with my friend Alison years ago (pre-kiddos!) and how fun this song was.  Lately I’ve been trying to play it in the morning, as the kids are eating their breakfast and starting the day.

I want to be the mom who has fun during the mundane times, not the mom who is always yelling and losing her ish.   I can be that mom too, but I’m being more intentional with my words and most importantly, my actions.

You don’t have to play this song, but maybe what’s one of your kiddos favorite tunes you know they love to sing?  I also try to play Bradley’s favorite song on the way to preschool each morning that he goes; I used to do it for Brookie (so did Joe!) and it makes for great and happy memories for all.

What we do now, we will think about later.  Make it count!
Have a happy Tuesday!

April Favorites

Hey hey it’s Monday! I figured I would share some of my top favorite things/items/experiences from last month!

I read this book Daisy Jones & The Six and LOVED it.  Totally worth the hype! I’ll do a better review of the books I’ve read coming up on May 14th with a linkup I found.

 

Another book I wraped up at the end of the month was Love and Other Words. I listened to it on audible and really enjoyed the narrator as well as the story line.

Advocare finally launched Grape Rehydrate!  So yummy and way less sugar than other electrolyte drinks.  It honestly reminds me of my childhood, Grape Kool-aid anyone?

Buxom lip glosses are the bomb!! I’m a lippy snob and glosses are my thing, so when I tell you how amazing these are you have to trust me!! Ulta had a sale so I grabbed two for the price of one.  I was told by several friends the nude color White Russian was the one to grab and I also scooped up Hot Toddy.  (Rakuten, formerly E-bates always has great cash back too, so if you haven’t been using them, what are you waiting for?!) 

I am still obsessed with Peter Thomas Roth under Eye Gel Patches and ran out of my gold ones from Christmas, so I saw that other bloggers swore by these cucumber ones from Amazon.  I too keep them in the fridge and apply them and then do my eye makeup.  Game changer for under eye circles!

I jumped on the Ipsy bandwagon and for $10 you get all these samples/full size products to try.  I haven’t tried all of them yet, but the highlighter is super pretty!!

My favorite even from April was the Ugly Disco.  I had so much fun getting down and boogie oogie oogie-ing with my hubby.

The next best thing was our little family trip to Toronto!

I’ve also been really working on myself with my Life Coaching with Lindsay E Preston.  I cannot how much more of my true self is starting to shine through!  I will be sharing an overall view of my 21 Day Life Luvers Challenge this week, but seriously you cannot put a price on your mental and emotional well being! Oh my goodness it’s just been so so good for me!!

I also went back to way more blonde highlights up by my roots because, well, I just needed more blonde in my life.  This was a before photo, but I was just so darn happy to get some quiet time in at the salon and touch up these old roots!  PS I also LOVE this Old Navy Distressed denim jacket.  My bestie Ann was rocking hers and I had to grab one. I did size up to a medium for a better fit.

What have been some of your April favorites?!

Luv Yourself

Hey there!!

While I try to stick to a super strict schedule, this week just threw me!! I am gonna take responsibility and I know that I am to blame, but I’ve been working on some anxiety (totally not used to feeling that way!) and it’s been a tough week.  But the tough parts are what make us stronger, right?  And I have been SO grateful for this opportunity to work with Lindsay Preston and be in this Life Luvers 21 Day Challenge.

I shared last week in my blog post that it was getting real and holy cow, how hard it was for me to put ME first more often!! If you’re new here, please read my first post on Life Coaching and what to expect from me weekly, as far as sharing my experience etc.

It’s all about fitting it in, no matter what and I really try to sit soak up each day’s lesson (hello forever a student of life!) and the more I work on my mind, I notice the better I want to take care of my body.  Note, the beet juice and protein waffle!

One thing Lindsay had us do before we even started the 21 Day Challenge, was taking this Strengths Finder quiz through Gallup.  My top five strengths came up as such:

I see these as strengths, but I’m not going to lie, I also immediately saw them as weaknesses too.  (Turns out that’s my Inner Mean Girl talking, so she needs to shhh!) But really, now the lesson to be had is how do I harness these strengths?  What can I do to use them to the best of my ability and really take myself to that next level?  She also gave us a bunch of tools to use to research our strengths, what they mean, and how to apply them to our life.  I have to giggle that “learner” is on there because while I know I am quite stern o