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 on the importance of education (not just formal education but learning anything in life!) this just re-affirmed it as well.

Another awesome tool Lindsay provided was the concept of a “Wins” Journal.  Each day, week, month, quarter, she says to sit down and write down your inside wins (changes inside yourself) and outside wins (changes outside of yourself).  Then, after you’ve taken the time to reflect and see your wins, the most important part is to celebrate.  Yup! How often do you let life pass you by without stopping to really soak that win up?

I took a photo of my cute journal next to my LV.  Sure it’s a pretty bag, but I’ve never shard why it means so much to me.  Last year we were working hard on selling quite a few houses and Joe was super busy working (legit no days off for like 20 days or something crazy!)  I sold one of the homes Rent to Own.  Granted, I do a lot of the calls etc in the biz, but this was different because not only did I go back forth with text messaging, phone calls, showing the house etc, but I also met with the couple and collected the deposit all by myself!  I went over the deal, explained everything and did it on the day my dad had a huge surgery (his lung removed from cancer.)   I was beyond nervous to do it all alone since Joe is usually the main talker, but I knew I had to jump in at some point.  I felt so proud afterwards!  This was a HUGE win looking back on it.  I reached a goal of selling a house, I overcame my personal fear of not being “good enough” at real estate investing to do it alone, I didn’t allow Joe not being there stop me, I was able to let go of limiting beliefs and provide an amazing couple with a home to live in! I gained so much confidence after this experience it was nuts.

What started out as a joke, turned into my purse.  I don’t collect a paycheck from our business, but I really work hard for us and wanted to earn this bag more than anything.   Looking back on it, I realized that I celebrated a win!  Now, this was clearly a big splurge and no I don’t go buy myself a new Louis for every home I sell (yet) but I do believe that counting your wins is important.  I don’t share my bag to boast, but simply to show that celebrating IS in fact so so important!  When we go out of our comfort zones and prove to ourselves that anything IS possible, think of how much further we can go?

Your celebrations can be smaller too, like giving yourself the gift of time for tea and a good book.  You can go grab a mani/pedi, or simply stroll the aisles of Target with a latté.  When we are intentional with our time and energy, and we begin celebrating ourselves more often, it will feel less icky.  I also believe it will lead to even more wins.

Another exercise was to find a photo of ourselves as a child.  I had my mom send me a bunch of photos via text and this one just stuck right out.  It’s who I am authentically!! This smile–the nose scrunch, the confident hands on the hips, messy long hair, happy eyes, healthy weight–it’s all who I am at my core.  Even the chubby cheeks, I still rock em.  I think I’m probably about Brooke’s age here, maybe 5-7? Not entirely sure.  This is the girl God made me to be, now I just need to work on bringing her to the surface as an adult more.

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Speaking of “authentic selves” if you are curious to see how close you are to being your authentic self, take this super short quiz Lindsay created! How Strong is Your Authentic Self? I am pretty close, but certainly have some areas to work on and improve.

Be sure to follow Linday on her social media pages, as she shares personal stuff on her insta-stories as well as lots of girl power, go get em, inspirational quotes on her FB and Instagram!

She also has a kick ass podcast you should listen to as well!

This journey is so good you guys; I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, as nothing worth having in life is, but I do feel like the more I keep pouring into myself and then putting myself out there, I am receiving back.  The abundance of love and gratitude I have for other amazing souls in my life is huge.  I’m really seeing who truly belongs in my life and those whom I cannot give so much time to.

Check back in next week as I share more progress and other tips and tricks Lindsay shares with us in our group!!  I hope you are enjoying seeing me breakdown things each week and talk about my journey. If you have any questions about life coaching or what I’m sharing, please don’t hesitate to ask! You can e-mail me, private message me on Instagram or FB or leave a comment.

My Top 5 Makeup Must Haves

There are so many amazing products out there, and goodness knows I’ve tried quite a few! These are my current favorites that I use on a daily basis.

Mac Prep & Primer – I tried this back in 2016 when we went to Las Vegas and I just love the smell! I also really enjoy that fresh spritz in the morning or halfway through the day.  I think that it gives me a fresh look and feel that I crave!

Eye Makeup Remover (Beauty Counter)- This was one of my first BC purchases and I did replace my Mary Kay eye makeup remover because of it!  Great price at $25 and great ingredients. I use a little cotton pad to remove the mascara/eye pencil residue and it’s awesome! (Good smell too!)

Nars- Blush in Orgasm.  I’ll be honest, I have had my eye on this one forever.  I couldn’t understand why everyone raved about it, so when I finally caved, I understood.  It’s not too much pink and it’s just enough color to make you look alive! I feel fancy wearing it too.

Younique Beachfront Bronzer- This is my favorite bronzer for date night and Summer days.  I don’t tend to use it (unless I have a spray tan) in the Winter because I feel like it’s too much for me for day time.  I love the way it gives a bit of a contour without actually knowing how to contour.  I’m excited to be using this soon on the daily!!

Becca Highlighter- Champagne Pop.  This was another one popping up all over in my instagram feed.  I hadn’t really been using a highlighter, but it does add a little something extra at the top of the cheeks, the cupid’s bow and around the face.  This one I find to be very subtle and a good one to try!

I took a photo of what they looked like too!

In order:

Highlighter

Blush

Bronzer

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What are some of your must haves?  I am currently on a mascara hunt! I just scooped up two new ones to try and I’ll report back after I give them a few goes.

Toronto Trip

We go up to Toronto every few years and always have such a great time!  We were so excited to bring the kids and they did great! It did rain pretty much the whole weekend, but we still made the best of it.  We tried to get photos, but it’s not easy with two littles and living in the moment.  Memories were made and that was the most important!

We left on Thursday afternoon and made it to about 40 minutes outside of the city before we were all starving.  We stopped at a Japanese restaurant and ordered sushi and noodles.

We arrived at the hotel a little after 8 and the kids were blown away at how beautiful it was.

Our view from one of the windows.

The first thing I did was slip on that amazing Ritz Carlton robe and made myself some tea!

Brooke loved the robes too!!

Bradley took this photo!

I took a video and some blurry photos of the kids enjoying some warm cookies and milk delivered for them!

The man who delivered them told the kids to dunk them in the milk.  They loved it!

Friday morning I scheduled a Hydrafacial (another post coming on that!) so hubby ran and got me a quick Starbucks breakfast and of course a Matcha Latte–Canadian soy milk tastes so different! This drink is not sweet at all up here.  I still loved it.  I also took a few minutes to work on my coaching!

Although it rained, the kids and Joe had a ball exploring a bit!

The kids could see the CN tower out of their side of the suite which was pretty cool.

Joe ordered an Uber and the kids had their first experience riding in one.  They found a really yummy breakfast place (so good we went back all together on Saturday!)

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Mama was still hungry since I didn’t eat anything for lunch, so we walked the wind and rain to this little restaurant/bar Gabby’s.  I had a yummy goat cheese salad and Joe loved their wings.

Bradley is really getting into his selfies haha!

After our mini walk in the rain, we came back to chill in the hotel until our dinner.  I stopped at the hotel bar and grabbed a glass of delicious rosé, threw on my robe and relaxed in bed. It was glorious!

We put on our fancy clothes and I was determined to get a family photo of the kiddos looking so adorable.  The hotel had this beautiful Easter egg display that the kids loved.  We were heading to dinner at East Thirty-Six.

I mean, come on!! I know I made them, but how cute?!

Always let them take a silly photo too!

They’re something else.

Saturday we went back to Cafe Landwer so that I could experience it!

The kids had pizza and it was really really good!

I went with an Eggs Benny Florentine—yum!

Nutella Hot Chocolate = bomb!

The boys had homemade vanilla ice cream

The kids & Joe loved the daily candy bar!

My little shopping spree at the mall consisted of a fun new black coat, sunnies, earrings and some skincare products. After shopping we did go swimming in the pool.  Brooke loved it but Bradley wasn’t a huge fan…hoping to change that by the next vacation!

Brookie and the CN tower.

For dinner Saturday night we returned to Rodney’s.  This place RUINED us for oysters the last time we were in Toronto!  They were so fresh and never once do you get a shell.

We were proud that the kids at some butter noodles with scallops.

Joe enjoyed a Bloody Mary and a lobster roll. I had some really tasty Thai seafood soup.

On the walk back, Bradley cried because he wanted to Uber (LOL!) and we stopped so they could get a little mango ice cream which helped ease the crying a bit.

Sunday was Easter morning and the bunny sent Joe a photo text saying he hid the baskets at home, but the kids had a few eggs and some ears in the hotel waiting for them.

We went to Fran’s for breakfast–it’s right by the mall and super tasty!

Little rabbit ready for the ride home.

Once we got home they found their goodies and played a bit, before we hit up a restaurant for a quick dinner.

We didn’t end up at the Aquarium or the CN Tower, mostly because we didn’t have a ton of time up there, we wanted to relax a bit and enjoy our hotel, and it takes a long time to eat out at restaurants! We figured we will return again soon (maybe later this Summer or early Fall?!)

Overall it was just so nice to escape the everyday life, not have to cook every day, and most importantly spend some great quality time with just us four. Brooke and Bradley both loved the big city, the different foods, the fancy dinners and hotel.  We can’t wait to explore many more places with them.

Wellness Wednesday: Trusting the Process

Well, 8 days in and ish started getting hard.

I was able to keep up with most of my coaching work on a daily basis, despite going away to Toronto.  Luckily we had some down time in our gorgeous suite in the hotel.  I plugged in my headphones and made it work! It’s so so easy to quit when things get hard, but I promised myself to focus these 21 days and get it done!

My overall goal is to create a better work/life blend and to not be so stressed out and feel so chaotic.  I don’t like the stress that it creates and neither does my body!  I absolutely love my life, but I don’t like feeling spun out of control.

So how am I doing with that?  Ehhhh to be totally transparent and honest, I don’t feel like I’m doing that great.  I yelled Tuesday. (So much for being calm amongst the chaos).  I felt like that meme where Mary Poppins is all, “Let’s go!” and then 20 minutes later Batman voice yells “LET’S GOOOOOO!!”  It was a crazy early morning as Bradley had his final “Helper Day” at preschool, which I still had to buy snacks/drinks for AND I had his parent conference at 8:30.  Since I had made a choice to go to a favorite workout class the night before at 6pm, it made for a later bedtime.  I solo parent on some evenings as per my husband’s schedule, and for the last 6 years, I pretty much let the kids’ dictate my routine.  Well, since I’ve started putting ME first a few times more, it’s an adjustment for ALL.  I sometimes feel counter-productive, as in maybe if I just do what is always best for kids and husband, then I can keep the peace…but the reality is, I feel like I’ve woken up to a new light.  What if I die tomorrow? Did I get to do what I wanted to do?  I get that being a parent is all about selfless-ness and giving, giving, giving even when you don’t feel like giving any more, but I also see the need to fill my cup.

I used to think filling my cup was a once in awhile thing.  But I’m realizing I do need to give more attention to me, a lot more.  The “Do You List” has been SO helpful.  It’s been eye opening because I’ve noticed that I don’t feel guilty when I do the dishes, fold the laundry, clean the rooms, scrub the toilets, braid the hair, brush the teeth, iron the work clothes, cook the eggs, do the grocery shopping, prepare the meals, walk the dog, work on real estate, cuddle…but when I consistently do things that make me, just Jenn, not anyone else, happy, I feel bad. So I am learning to push through that uncomfortable feeling and see where it takes me. ** This is what Lindsay would refer to as your IMG (Inner Mean Girl) I didn’t think I had any (haha!) but once I listened to her videos, took notes and reflected I realized I am so a people pleaser and then some.

I’ve created my daily habit of meditating 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night.  I find the morning to be harder than night–I actually love listening to a meditation and falling into a nice quiet sleep…I am also noticing perhaps I would do better with a mid-day meditation?  I may play around with this.  My morning routine is not exactly pristine.  My body is fighting me for sleep!! (I’m blaming the uber hard workouts I do some days!) Either way, I am seeing the need for it. Slowing down is helping me A LOT!

I’ve also started saying a daily mantra: I live a calm and intentional life.  (I’m finding Rachel Hollis’ Start Today Journal methods kind of intertwining here!) Basically, you say things in present tense, as if they’re already happening.  There’s a huge brain connection (I’m not getting scientific here, but there’s huge research done on this!) Lindsay does a great job at explaining it in her course, so it’s not all hokey!

So all in all, in just a week I’m noticing huge differences! Even though I felt like I was struggling a bit yesterday (Tuesday) I love that Lindsay has a closed Facebook group where we can share our thoughts.  We were to share what we are grateful for, so I did, but I also was real and said how things were getting hard.  Her response, “I know you want things to change now, but it’s a process. Just keep showing up like you’re doing (even though you feel overwhelmed I know) and it will get better.”  I know that I needed to hear that because I always want to rush things and sometimes, most times, we need to let things go at their own pace and fall into place as they will.  I know I’m so, SO hard on myself and I need to lighten up (a lot.)

All amazing things happen outside of our comfort zone, right?  Well I am certainly stepping out of mine and cannot wait to see what’s to come.  Just don’t quit, right?

Quick Hello

I hope all of you had a lovely Easter weekend! We spent our up north in Canada! I’ll do a bit of a recap later on, but I wanted to at least say hello!

It was a bit of a rainy weekend, but we had so much fun dining out eating some amazing foods, did some shopping, family time and enjoyed being all together.

I’m staring at an incredibly messy home, and I have thousands of things on my to do list, but thanks to my life coaching, I’m just b-r-e-a-t-h-i-n-g in the chaos and doing all things in a calm manner.  It’s funny how just a quick jaunt away can reset the mind, body, and soul.

If you too are feeling overwhelmed, just take a few minutes to pause and breathe.  It will all get done, everything will be okay and life will go on.

Namaste.

Fun Facts Friday

I figured I would just blog a quickie today!! I may have some newer readers around here so I wanted to share some fun facts about moi.

 

  • I’m the oldest of 3 girls
  • I went to a state college for my teaching degree
  • I taught English (grades 7-11 throughout 8 years) and loved it.
  • I met my husband on Match.com and MySpace in 2007 and we actually met and began dating in 2008.
  • We went on a cruise only after knowing each other a month!
  • We bought our first “fixer upper” in 2008.
  • We got married 7.10.10
  • Joe and I honeymooned in Amsterdam, Paris & Rome.
  • We now own 10 properties, plus our home and 20 acres of land to build on.
  • When I no longer wanted to teach, I became a stay at home wife.
  • After trying to conceive since August 2010, we were blessed with our first born on January 11, 2013.
  • She was the perfect baby ringing in 8 lbs 6 ounces!
  • I gained over 70 lbs during pregnancy
  • I became healthier and in better shape than before I got prego (thank you AdvoCare!)
  • 2 years and 6 days later, we welcomed our son into the world at 8 lbs 14 ounces.
  • It was shortly after baby boy that I realized how involved I had to become in our real estate. (All the paperwork!)
  • In 2017 we upped our real estate game and decided to offer rent to own homes.
  • I enjoy cooking gourmet meals.
  • I have no desire to go back to teaching.
  • I want to write multiple books.
  • My favorite color is pink.
  • I prefer cheese pizza over any other kind.
  • I hate sweet wine.
  • I’m obsessed with the moon phases.
  • We will own a lake house one day!
  • I used to hate working out but I really have grown to love it.
  • I kill all plants.
  • My body does best when I eat clean real whole food.
  • Traveling is one my favorite things to do.
  • Reading and writing help me process thoughts so much.
  • Dancing makes my soul feel soul good.
  • I can be shy but I’m pretty funny and outgoing once you get to know me.

Any questions? Ask me anything!

Happy Friday friends!

Wellness Wednesday: Life Coaching

I think anyone who knows me, knows that I love bettering myself.  Anyone who truly knows me, realizes that I am not perfect and that I have a huge heart.  I love taking care of my family, being able to stay home with my children, run a beautiful home with two crazy dogs and cook meals all day long.  But at the end of every day, I still want to take care of ME.  Being a momma, running a real estate business and a wife to an extremely hard working man is a lot! I do a lot of it by myself, with the help of sitters and the occasional family member here or there.  While I have an abundant life and so many blessings, I don’t want “die with the music still inside of me.” That was a Wayne Dyer quote I heard many years ago.

I have big hopes, goals and dreams and Joe and I often joke we wonder if any of “it” will be enough.  We are never bored, we don’t watch TV, and we have this burning desire to seek so much more out of life.  What other businesses should we create? How many more people can we help? Where else can we travel to and experience new cultures?  We want to expose our children to so many beautiful opportunities.

My head spins and I have ALL OF THE THINGS I want to do before I die and where the heck do I even start?!

My mind starts going and I get started on some new adventure, and then I eventually shut down and back off.  Any time I start something just for me, I tend to implode. There wasn’t enough time, or the baby needed that, or our business this…

No more.

Enter in, Life Coaching.  Yup.  I am smack dab in the middle of week one and HOLY SMOKES have my eyes been opened up real wide.  So many things friends, so many things to tell you!  I’ve taken a few assessments and honestly have spent a lot of time with just myself.  (It’s weird and beautiful!) Some things I was well aware of (I’m an empathetic person) and other things I’ve begun to see like that I tend to self-sabotage, as I mentioned above.  I am starting with Lindsay’s 21 day course titled, Life Luvers. 

I’ll be honest, there have been a few uncomfortable moments.  There have already been a few times where a thought slips through my mind and I hear “Maybe you can’t do it.  Who do you think you are? What makes you special?”  And then I breathe in really deep, shove those negative comments aside and keep pushing.  And digging.  And thinking. And realizing: I can.

One of the road blocks I know I have is time, so I will be very aware of my social media usage, my ‘down time’ and I’ve already begun using timers.  I will use that pretty planner above and really hone in on when I can work on ME. Another area I want to work on is being okay with not being liked by others.  My mood ebbs and flows on this one.  Sometimes I don’t care and I say, do, and post what I want when I want.  Other times?  I worry, I think too much, I over analyze and become frozen. I go radio silent and into a weird space. I don’t want that to happen any more.

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I know it’s only the beginning of my little journey here but I am already seeing big strides.  I want to share as much as I can, as this blog has always been a wonderful outlet for me. I will share on my Instagram stories more as we continue going further into coaching.  I am in this for the long haul! I am putting it out here into the universe and holding myself accountable.

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Follow this “highlight” for more on my life coaching experience!! 

Yes, I am a wifey, a mama and a real estate investor, a reader, a writer, a life long learner…but mostly? I am a woman who, when on her deathbed, will look back and say, I did not die with my music still inside of me.  I lived my life to its fullest and truly followed my passions, lived calmly and peacefully, and with zero regrets.

If you’re wondering if coaching is for you, Lindsay has a free assessment you can take here!  I will be sharing weekly my progress here on the blog. I figured “Wellness Wednesday” will be a good fit and I’ll go into details about my wins, ‘a-ha’ moments and some struggles as much as I can.  I believe in being an open book, but I also know that sometimes I need to work through things by myself.

Have you done any life coaching?

Weekend

Happy Monday! Both kiddos are off this week and I am not bad about it! Our dog has also gone to “puppy training school” so that is an added bonus around these (quiet) parts.

Friday was GORGEOUS! It was the first day where it truly felt like Spring.  It was sunny, warmer and not too terribly windy.  It did rain later at the bus stop, but we soaked up every moment of enjoying the nice weather until then.

I hit up the gym for a 9:15 Zumba class and it felt so great to move and shake.

We checked out this delicious taco joint in the city and holy guacamole it is a MUST do! I honestly love Fridays with my guys.

I tried the get the ‘cleanest’ thing on the menu, which was the Becca bowl.  It was loaded with veggies, lettuce, some rice, pico de gallo, beans, and I got both the baja fish and the shrimp to try.  Joe and Bradley ended up eating my fish, but it was a HUGE portion and so very tasty!

We took a little drive to look at houses and then ended up on a few walks around downtown.  High Falls is pretty cool looking from this pedestrian bridge.

It gets rather windy out on the bridge, but we got to see a train go by too so it made this dude’s day!

 

We were making the “Dino” roar noise here…haha!

 

We also took a quick walk down on the river.

Friday evening we ordered sushi via Grub Hub, booked our SUMMER VACATION plans wooo!!  The kids had a “picnic” dinner in the living room and it was very chill.

Saturday morning I hit up the gym for a quick sweat sesh.  I tried this new coconut water electrolyte drink.  It was pretty tasty!  I am usually not a fan of coconut water, but I enjoyed it.

Saturday night we had a fast dinner at The Rev, as we had plans to see a comedian at 7:30.  Cheers to the good life and all our big plans!

Tammy was HILARIOUS and my stomach is still a bit sore from laughing so hard!

After the comedy show we stopped by Radio Social next door.  There’s a bowling alley and some fun games to play.  The boys had quite the Jenga game going!  It was nice to get out and have some fun.

Sunday was rather uneventful, other than Joe dropping off Bailey at the trainer’s.  I whipped up a quick dinner with some ground venison. I kind of just googled “pasta bake” and added whatever I had left in the fridge. Result?  We loved it! The kids don’t seem to love pasta mixed with sauce and meat, but they did eat it.  I added cheese and pepperoni on top and call it “pizza pasta” in hopes they eat it haha.

After dinner the boys played legos and Brooke read her Kinder take home book to us.  After the kiddos went to bed, we wanted to watch a movie. (Note, we are the 1% who has never seen Game of Thrones!) We ended up with Wolf of Wallstreet, ya know because we have not seen it 50x already…but it’s all good because, you know, #leo.

It’s a chilly 39 today, overcast and rainy.  I guess it will warm up later in the week though!  I have some plans of working on my Life Coaching (more coming on that soon!) and spending some QT with the kids and I plan on hitting the gym later on.  Are you on Spring break? What are your fun plans?

Toronto: Must See & Do

We may have booked a little family getaway!! We are so excited to take the kids up north to one of our favorite cities.  We will be staying right by the CN Tower and the Aquarium, but what else is fun for little ones?  I am sure we will spend some time at the pool for sure!

The last time we were up here, we celebrated Joe’s 40th birthday. 

We most likely will be hitting up Rodney’s Oyster House once again– best oysters ever!

The kiddos will get their own area on a pull out couch, so we will have plenty of room for all four of us.

3 years ago we were up in Toronto in May and had a ball.  We could not for the life of us find this amazing restaurant–we must have walked by it a dozen times before we saw it.

Lunch over in the ‘fancy’ area … Bloor/Yorkville.

I know it won’t be quite this warm, but we are hoping for some warmer weather for sure!

We did travel up here with Brookie back in August of 2013; it was tricky with a stroller and her being a baby, but still was fun! She was great until our last nice dinner…she wanted nothing to do with it!

It will be about a 2.5/3 hour drive so that shouldn’t be that bad with the kids.  They will be totally fine I am sure.  Once we are there, we can’t wait wait to take them to some nice restaurants, do a little shopping and certainly some site seeing.  We’ve started experimenting and taking them to ‘fancier’ restaurants around here and they’ve been doing really well!  They’re starting to not eat off the ‘kids menu’ (aka chicken tenders/pizza/hot dogs) and boy do they sure love a good steak!

Most of all, I look forward to making memories!  It’s been awhile since the 4 of us packed up and traveled.  There’s something refreshing getting out of the house, seeing all walks of life, experiencing different cultures and living.  We will be sure to take tons of photos and videos to share!

Podcasts

I absolutely love listening to podcasts! I will admit there’s a part of me that doesn’t like them ONLY because I set high goals to read a lot of books in the year, and even though I’m learning, a podcast is not a book. Maybe I need to set a podcast goal too~ (or not.)

Either way, here are the podcasts you will find on my iphone.

My current listen: this amazing powerhouse of a woman– Lindsay Preston. She’s a life coach helping tons of ladies become better versions of themselves. The free nuggets she gives away on her podcasts are life changing; no joke you’ll feel like you can go out and kick some major butt after one listen!

And she Rises the F Up – this is all about going after what you want, working on your money manifestation and recognizing your higher power. This is probably the newewst podcast I have started to follow. This little lady does NOT keep things PG so it’s an ear bud kind of listen.  She has a lot of solid advice and honestly I feel better about money when listening to her.  Money/finances seem to be such an interesting topic in our society and she helps validate why it’s more than okay to be going after what you want.

Earn Your Happy– I listened to Lori Harder’s book called A Tribe Called Bliss, and it was decent.  This podcasts mimics that and she does have a lot of great people on here that she interviews.  She focuses on self love, really loving life and generally being the best version of yourself.  She’s a badass and wants you to be one too!

The Mentor Podcast- This will fall under the “Real Estate” inventory of my podcasts.  Ron LeGrand is our great mentor and we have learned many a thing from this man! He has a ton of financial gurus, entrepreneurs, real estate experts and just overall another great avenue to learn more from him.  My husband honestly connects with Ron a bit better than I do, but I do learn a lot by listening.

Rise Podcast:  If you’ve been here for awhile, you know me and my girl Rach go way back…to her first book.  I adore her and Dave and listen to them on their daily live FB/Insta stream as well as their different podcasts.  She has wonderful in depth interviews both male and female, and there’s always a good take away from them!  She even reads certain chapters/excerpts of her books, so if you’re on the fence, check out her FREE podcast.  Trust me, you will want to buy them!

 

Real Estate Investing for Women – is exactly what it sounds like.  Often times it seems like real estate is a male dominated community.  I love how she breaks it down and ties in real life women moments, and relates to me on so many levels.  Even if you’re on the fence about dabbling in real estate, it wouldn’t hurt to download this one for free!

The Real Estate Investher Show – clearly another real estate podcast.  I love that this one is two ladies who go back and forth sharing their real stories and also involve guests on their show.  It helps to hear a woman’s perspective, especially married mama!  I sometimes feel like a lunatic and just hearing that there are other ladies feeling the same feels, makes me feel better.  Must listen if you’re looking to grow your finances!!

Style Your Mind- the famous Champagne Diet blogger/author has one of my favorite podcasts. I heard Zig Ziglar say that it’s good to listen to motivation when you’re feeling down, but it’s even MORE worth it when you listen to it feeling great! I try to do that, especially with Cara’s work.  She really gives me a kick in the ass, but also fuels my fire.  I feel like I can go and do whatever next hard thing comes next.

Rise Together- this is Rachel Hollis and her hubby Dave.  They have a great dynamic and I will be honest, I just listen to their daily live streams.  I haven’t listened to this podcast in a few months.  Again, if you love her take charge, no BS approach, this is for you!

Your Virtual Upline– is a must for any direct sales consultant!! I found it through a friend when I was doing Stella & Dot. I have not listened to him in probably close to a year? But he does add a lot of value.  Great content and I always took away some sort of nugget.

The Sandwhich – Amanda Muse is sooooo down to earth and funny! She’s a Canadian mama of two is a You Tuber and I just love her.  She’s all about #thefutureisfemale and shares her day to day life via vlogs and instagram stories.  Her podcasts allows her to get a little more intimate or in detail on whatever topic she feels like discussing.  She is so body confident and sharing how important it is to just be happy no matter what.

The Melissa Ambrossini Show- Author of Mastering your Inner Mean Girl, she is also a fantastic motivating listen!  I love hearing stories of her and her guests.  She focuses on finding motivation no matter what!  I need to listen more…

Time to Parent- To be 100% honest, I have no flipping clue. I must have downloaded this because someone I trust recommended.  Have you? LOL

 

Happier–  We all know Gretchen as the happiness guru.  That’s as far as I’ve gotten!

Dirty John – Again, heard it was great, no clue why, haven’t listened.

Wayne Dyer– he passed a few years back, but from time I really feel the need to hear his voice, soak up his wisdom.  He is definitely one of the many keys that I feel help “open me” up to self-improvement.

Sex with Emily– pretty straight forward, I don’t think I need to explain much.  She talks about sex etc.

 

Oprah Super Soul Conversations:  Oprah is like the mecca of all things great and wonderful.  She is someone that comforts me just by hearing her voice; I think it’s because I grew up hearing her every day around 4pm.  I only wish I listened more to what she was saying!  She’s always suggesting a new read or way of thinking about life. If you’re an Oprah fan, this is for you.

Chalene (Build your Tribe) – I just love her and used to listen to it awhile ago.  She is to the point and full of spunk! She talks a lot about being a great leader etc.

What are some of your favorite podcasts? I feel like I need to find some new ones to add to my list.

 

Weekend Wrap Up

Flew by, didn’t it?! It always does.  Friday was a nice start, as Joe had off and Brooke went to school.  After I made everyone breakfast, I sipped some pre-workout and hit the gym.  I didn’t do anything crazy, but I did some cardio and bi/tris. I love this new top from Fabletics! It’s a pretty color, comfortable and fits well.  I grabbed a small.

Friday afternoon we did our final walkthrough at our Canandaigua rental.  It looks so good!  Aaron from Canandaigua Contractors LLC did a phenomenal job.  He had a lot of work to do, re-do and really do it right.  The flooring is stunning and we adore the open kitchen/living room.

It will look so cute with some pops of color with accent rugs, some plants & furniture.

I love that there are windows at the kitchen sink, and we continued the subway tile as a backsplash here as well.  It has a beautiful flow and we are so happy for the newest renters to call this home!

Last but definitely not least, the bathroom is clearly the favorite!  Subway tile, the tile floors, new vanity, toilet, lights– camera action!  Seriously my favorite bathroom we’ve done to date.

I got my Advocare goodies and about died when I saw that this was the sample.  Grape Spark was my absolute favorite, but since I can’t seem to drink Spark (or coffee) any more, I was so sad.  Around Christmas they launched a little sample bag of fun Rehydrate flavors and Grape was inside!! The kids and I pretty much fought over that flavor! I can’t wait for it to be available for Summer!

I finished up this amazing book Friday night.  I did not want it to finish too quickly, but like all good things it had to come to an end.  SO GOOD!! It’s about a fictional 1970’s rock band and it’s told from the band character’s point of view.   This CBD tea is tasty too!

Sunday morning I took this beautiful dancer to her photos.  She is dancing to “Material Girl” and “Glow”– some Disney princess song, super cute!

After dance pics, we of course hit up Starbucks!! She looks way too old here!

While we had our fun girl time, the boys (and Bailey!) were at the land hunting for Dinosaurs.

Is this not the perfect photo?! This dog is a huge amount of my stress, but I do believe it’s mostly because she belongs here.  She needs this place to roam and run free.

Our afternoon was so low key— I did some blog planning and just felt creative and inspired to get some posts organized, yay!  It was nice to just ‘be.’

Dinner Sunday night was courtesy of Joe!! I had something kind of planned, but asked if Joe could run to the store to get some ingredients to finish dinner…well after he watched some show with Gordon Ramsey, he was convinced he needed to make chicken wings!

He did some of the “OG” wings.  It’s a BBQ rub, smoked for an hour in the smoker and then grilled to get a little crisp.

THESE however, may have just up-leveled the wings yet again.  He saw Ramsey use corn starch and it made the wings a little extra crispy—-whoa nelly!! SO good! It gave them a real ‘fried’ feel, and yet he still smoked & grilled.

This is what I had going in the slow cooker– which is SO yummy!  Now we have this for Cubans and it even tastes like Chipotle’s carnitas.  I will make some rice and make a bowl or something!

I did take a small walk with Holly after dinner and I am so happy the weather is starting to turn.  I think sometimes we don’t think walking is really doing anything, so I am here to remind you, it’s so good for us!! Our bodies are made to move.

 

Happy Monday friends!

 

Tea With Me

Happy Friday friends!!  It’s gonna be a busy, but GOOD one, I can feel it! I saw a super fun post idea over at Chelsea’s Blog The Girl Who Loved to Write — so adorable, go check her out!!  Her post is “Coffee Date: Four Cups in” and while I don’t drink coffee, we all know I love my tea!!

So I’m sipping on some Earl Grey de la Creme with warmed vanilla soy milk and figured I’d take a few minutes to chat with you! If you were sitting with me enjoying some tea, I’m sure we would have SO much to talk about.  The sun is shining, and we are all dying for some warmer weather! 38 degrees is not Spring.  It is trying though, the sun and the warm weather that is…

…I jumped on the ‘preset bandwagon’ and am trying out some fun filters. #iwantaprettyinstafeedtoo I am laughing at myself, you can laugh too.

…I’d tell you that I’m really looking forward to Bailey getting some formal dog training. We love her dearly, but she’s a beast and we cannot wait to get a better handle on her.

…I have not been great about going to the gym.  I was putting ME first for a bit and it was working, but this whole working, mom life/wife life thing crept right up on me again! Boo.  I have been walking the dogs, doing a little yoga at home, but it’s not the same.

…We have no big plans this weekend other than Brooke’s dance photos.  It’s also hard to top the Disco last weekend, so I guess low key means that I can read my TBR book pile?

…Speaking of I’m LOVING the current book that I am reading,  Daisy Jones & The Six.  I’m totally calling it a slow burn–as in I hold it and love the words that I’m reading, but am sincerely savoring them instead of flying through it like I do sometimes.  I legit told my husband I felt sorry for him yesterday, because he doesn’t love books the way that I do.  It’s hard to explain, but man the smell, the feel of the pages, and a really good book–there is nothing like it!! I highly recommend this one if you’re a literary lover and a fan of music.

…I’m currently listening to Start with Why on audible.  Fascinating stuff I tell ya! If you’re a lover of learning or in business for yourself or even run/manage a team of others, you’d get a lot out of this one.  I was blown away by the part on Southwest airlines and also why Apple was so successful.

…In other book news, I received an advanced reader copy of The girl He Used to Know and it launched this week.  It’s SUCH a beautiful story–it’s also one that I have a hard time putting into words.  You just need to read it; I don’t want to ruin a single second of it for anyone!  It really is worth the read.

…I’m trying to figure out which direction to send my son as far as sports go.  We tried a little soccer thing last year, but he ran off the field a lot and it seemed a bit overpriced for what it was.  Brooke has her dancing but Bradley is 4 and needs something.  I’m thinking this Summer I’ll get him into the Y or something.  I know he has A LOT of energy and needs to be around other kiddos and under someone else’s supervision than just mine!

…My spray tan is fading and that makes me sad! LOL I need to order some new faux tan lotion or at home spray.  What’s your fave??

…I’m already experiencing Spring Break envy.  We have no plans to travel anywhere and I wish that we did! We are going to go away this Summer though, so researching is in full effect.  Any suggestions for 2 kiddos 4 & 6?! We loved Lake George and had a ball last year in South Carolina, but we aren’t sure where to travel to next…

…I need to head back to Trader Joe’s and check out their goods again! It’s been some time and when I was there last, this tea (what inspired these thoughts!) caught my eye. What are your TJ favorites?

Have a fabulous weekend!

4 and 6 (Belated Birthday Re-cap)

Oh gosh, how does the time fly by so darn fast?!  Early 2019 was a pretty rough start for us, to say the least, but we were so grateful that Joe was able to feel well enough to be a part of the kids’ birthdays.  He wasn’t even back to work yet, due to his Crohn’s flare ups, but he was able to smile with his children.

For Brooke’s actual birthday, we brought her in some Chic-fil-A and had lunch in the cafeteria with her and her classmates.

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That afternoon she came home to some gifts, cards & a fun balloon!  I also picked up some stuff at the Dollar Tree to decorate the table etc. She’s really into drawing, crafts and being artsy, so that’s what she got!!

That night we took her out for ‘noodles’ and sushi.

Since we always have their party together, they typically share a cake.  However, I read (and spoke to!) that when siblings share a cake, it kind of takes away the special feel of a birthday…and I can totally understand!! I love birthdays and I don’t want to take that away from the kids.  Besides, this year they each wanted a different cake flavor and character.

Brook wanted Vampirina on a chocolate cake.  I remember it was early January and I was sitting beside Joe at the hospital thinking to myself, what on earth can I do to get these cakes for the kiddos?!  Thank goodness for Etsy!!  I clearly didn’t do anything other than slap the edible image on top of the small round cake (we bought the cake from Wegmans), but with all that was happening, I was happy to get something like this!

She loved it.

Bradley wanted a Black Panther cake in vanilla. It worked out beautifully, as the kids at the party could choose chocolate or vanilla and we had the perfect amount of cake!

They got to bounce around at Leap and Laugh with some of their close friends.

We had pizza and juice, clean up was minimal and everyone had a ball!

Bradley’s actual birthday happened just a few days after and again I had a balloon waiting for him and we decorated the table.  He had been begging for a “Bumblebee” transformer and he loved “Daddy’s red car” so we scooped him up a red Lambo…

They were so excited to match with their birthday crowns.  For his special dinner, he wanted pizza (shocking!) so we made some at home.

I realize it’s already April, but I didn’t want to not document our babies’ birthdays!!  I have to admit, that being able to do a 2 for 1 at a party place is quite nice.  Those places can be a little expensive, but totally worth not having a gazillion people over at our house.  It’s tricky with January because it’s so darn cold and a lot of times, people get sick so we have learned to just keep it simple and go with the flow.

Ugly Disco

The Disco is over!! (insert sad face!) We have now been to the Ugly Disco 8 times.  I was so excited Friday night, I had trouble sleeping, and I actually went back through my old blog posts to count and see! (Pics are below!)

It’s a great cause as the money is raised to support the Golissano Children’s Hospital here in Rochester.

Friday I got my nails done in a white gel polish to match my go go boots!

I wanted to get a really fun and flirty light pink pout, so I found some of these drugstore lip products to play with.  I really liked how they came out!!

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Cheers!

I got this super fun dress on Amazon & I also needed a new pair of Go Go Boots because my old pair literally broke for good last year!! These were super comfy and I could have kept on dancing all night long!!

White Go Go Boots (I wear a size 9 shoe and I got the large; they fit perfectly!)

Dress I ordered a small in the dress, and it was small! It said up to 120 lbs which I’m around 138 here, so it was snug.  I always wear booty shorts under the dress anyway, but it did come with a cute headband, clip on earrings (I didn’t wear) and these super fun pink glasses!

And can we all just say a big giant thank you for spray tans!! Goodness an all over tan glow makes a girl feel SO good!!

I’ve been trying to work out and eat better, more consistently; I’m not where I *want* to be, but I am happy with the progress I’m making with the efforts I’ve been putting in.  I have been loving my workouts at the gym and look forward to continuing my health journey.   It’s no joke staying fit and living a busy life!  I have to thank all those years of dance for making it easier for my legs to get into good shape though.  Muscle memory is real.  (And Catalyst is the bomb!)

We took an uber there and back.

Joe and his get up gets so many compliments and I took so many photos of him and other ladies it was quite hysterical!

Joe’s long time friend Chris and his girlfriend are always fun to hang out with.  Thanks for a fun night guys!!

I ran into my friend Becki who was dressed up as the 1970’s Honey Nut Cheerio Bee!!!

It’s so hard to take photos when you’re all dancing to great music haha!

And some flashbacks from year’s past…

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2019

It’s seriously the best time and we look forward to going every year!  The only years we didn’t go were right after we had the babies (both were born in January and the disco was in February, so mama wasn’t quite ready to boogie in a little disco dress!) And another year his cousin got married, but other than that you can expect us to bring the house down each year at the Ugly Disco!

New Beauty Faves

There’s something so simple and yet so satisfying by just lighting a candle.  No joke I picked this up at The Dollar Tree last Saturday.  I often feel as though my Throat Chakra is closed or at least partially blocked; I know that I need to speak more freely and say what’s on my heart more.  I lit the candle and dove into my newest mask obsession…

This Deep Clean Detox Mask by Ever smells SO amazing!! I am typically a sheet mask girl, but slathering this mask on with a brush makes me feel fancy and it literally smells like a spa treatment.  And it works!! I think I should do it 2x a week, but I’m lucky if I make time for myself once a week.  It really helps with clogged pores and small breakouts– especially if you’re like me and maybe forget to totally take off all your makeup from the day. OOPS.

I paint it on and then really “try” to relax for 10-20 minutes.  I then use a warm wet cloth to remove the mask.

I’ve also been using “purple shampoo” which seems to be all the rage right now to achieve that icy blonde look on the mane.   I saw this at Sephora and I chuckled at the name.  Bust your Brass.  It smells SO SO good and if you know me, I am huge on things having good scents.  It also leaves my hair super soft which I appreciate!

Post workout face (holy Zumba Strong!!), but check out that blonde hair!  This is a day after using this shampoo/conditioner.

I also just ordered my first Beauty Counter items!  I’ve heard amazing reviews on this company and their products and Joe’s cousin signed on with them.  I needed to replace my eye makeup remover, as I was running low on Mary Kay, and I thought I’d try it out.  SO happy that I did! It smells amazing and feels so refreshing, not oily and really works on removing mascara!  I also had to try a lippy because, well, I have a lipstick/gloss obsession.  I love this subtle mint flavor/feel.  It’s so hydrating too! I got the color “Brunch.” I will be shopping from Mary again soon!

 

What are some of your current beauty faves?!

Healthy Food Hacks

I’ve been making real efforts to eat mindfully & healthy again.  Trust me, I know it’s not easy to make every meal a homemade, from scratch, perfectly balanced etc.  I have however, really been listening to my body and eating my 5-6 small meals a day since I did my 10 Day Cleanse a few weeks ago. Here are some ways I work on keeping myself and my family healthy!

I believe in real food 80% of the time and give 20% wiggle room for life’s fun things, like french fries and sweets.  I also think top notch vitamins are important to keep us healthy and that all things begin and end in the gut!

Check out your local grocery store’s freezer section.  There are some amazing options for smoothies these days!! I added water and this was packed with lots of veggies, flax, hemp seeds, fruits etc.  I also noted it did not have a lot of sugar, but I failed to take a photo. oops!  It was super healthy and yummy.

Kimchi is so good for our guts!  Pre & Probiotics will help your digestive system get back up and running, plus it has a great flavor, so you can add it to so much! I love the simple snack of sourdough (also good for guts in moderation!)

Super easy breakfasts– Soft boiled egg & a packet of oatmeal.

I also love a good over easy egg with cooked spinach; I will sometimes use a little cream cheese on my ezekial toast to get that bagel feel haha! A little turkey bacon & Everything but the bagel seasoning and you’re good to go.

Sheet pan dinners are super quick and a great way to eat healthy AND use up food in the fridge.  I use whatever I have on hand, sprinkle some seasoning and bake at 375 for about 45 mins – an hour.

KIDS

I started utilizing a simple strategy for our meals last week.  Kids love meatballs, so I think I’ll do “Meatball Monday.”  I phoned it in and used frozen meatballs, threw them in the oven.  I served them “butter noodles” in this case I used whole wheat pasta, a little butter, salt & evoo.  I also gave the kids green beans for the veggie and some pasta sauce to dunk in.

Another fun/easy hack is to grab a muffin tray and fill it with all the things.  I try to use up anything we have leftover in the cupboard and add fruits or veggies too.  Bradley had requested a PB & J as well, so I made sure to have that for him!  This keeps them from asking me for a snack five million times! Plus, when giving my kids options, they are learning what healthy food is and ‘junk food.’ I don’t want them to fear sugar and junk but I also don’t want to make a big deal about it.  I teach them to eat til their bellies are full.  I think our approach works well.

Family pizza night!!  The kids LOVE helping out, so we grabbed some pizza crusts and created our own pizzas.  I love the cauliflower pizza crusts, so I made those for me.

We love the downtown butcher/restaurant McCann’s, but sometimes I just can’t handle all the buns, grease etc.  They have an amazing Butcher salad that is so good!! The dressing is bomb and their steaks never have any antibiotics etc.  Super yummy!

I saw this on Insta and I want to re-create it!! I am loving granola and smoothies, plus the new Advocare Bodylean does not have a weird protein taste—it’s a need for staying on track!

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This looked yummy too, so I figured I’d save it here to refer back to it.  Have you tried anything like this?

I’ve added collagen back into the mix again, because hello—I’m nearing 40 people!!

From the site:  Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and helps give structure to our hair, skin, nails. However, as we age, the production of collagen levels in our body decreases. AdvoCare Glow Collagen contains 5,000 mg of marine collagen peptides that function to support our body’s natural collagen production.* Silica, sourced from bamboo extract, complements the collagen and supports the strength and elasticity of the skin.* Additional antioxidant Vitamin E helps to promote healthy skin cell function.*

Perfect berry taste to sip on while I read some of my new book!

I’m also crushing on these protein cookie dough bars!!  Some store bought bars hurt my belly but I never have an issue with these.

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Another hack I’ve been using is these tasty ready to drink protein shakes.  I will leave it in the car (on cold days, or in a cooler with an ice pack) and after a gym workout, I can easily refuel!

My gym routine- I take 2 catalyst before my workout (about a half hour) and then during my sweat sesh, I drink a rehydrate.  I was getting really dehydrated when I first joined the gym again, and I didn’t feel well at all.  Since upping the electrolytes, my workouts are better and I feel stronger!

Another fun drink I throw into the mix are the Advogreens.  I have the berry flavor and it’s tasty!  This is packed with probiotics and excellent for gut health.

We all know how much I love me some Starbs, but I think we can agree that too many trips will empty the bank account and make the pants not button!!

I love Lady Grey Tea with some hot water and then I’ll use my milk frother and steam some vanilla soy milk.  It’s so good!

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These little chocolate dipped almonds are great when I want a little sweet/salty treat!

What are some ways that you keep you and your family healthy while being busy?

 

*Follow my Instagram stories, as most of these photos were pulled from there!* JennDelleFave

Weekend Review

Friday was full of fun for our family!

Joe was able to take Bradley on his field trip to a local Maple Syrup farm.  They loved it!

I was able to set up and serve The Royal Tea for Brooke’s Kindergarten class. It was adorable!  We sent in some Lorna Dunes, jam and apple juice while the kids got to dress up, dance and enjoy their tea time!

She will not take a serious shot for me ever!! (Just like her Daddy!)

She insisted on wearing one of my old dance costumes (I think I was 15 when I wore it?!)

She begged me to bring in this tea pot from home to serve with.

It then prompted me to serve myself some tea on Saturday.  Do you ever have those days where you’re under the weather, trying to still do all the things and your body is like, HELLO? Are you listening?  No?  Ok, well I’m gonna shut ya down right now.

That’s basically what happened to me.  I pretty much laid in my bed all day, and other than feeding the kids, letting the dogs out, doing the bare minimum — dishes/laundry– I did shower, but I also napped.  It was glorious.  I realized that I never do this for myself.  I finished 2 books that day, both I had started previously.

I’m very much a go go go type of person, and I married one as well, so to allow ourselves to rest, really isn’t an option.  Then we get sick.  So as much as I wanted to go to the gym and do “all the things,” I didn’t.  I did what I felt that was best for me and I honestly enjoyed every second. I felt bad as we had a sitter lined up and dinner plans with friends, but there will be more times ahead.  Health should always come first.

In the teapot: English Breakfast, soy milk and dang these Advo Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bars are SO GOOD!! You can grab them here. 

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I finished my home girl’s book and it was a good one!! I gotta say I thought the beginning was one FIRE.  I definitely took a lot of nuggets… and the hardest (and most fitting timing wise) chapter was Asking For Help.  Successful people ask for help.  They DON’T do it all by themselves.  So much happens behind the scenes, and I know both Joe and I need to get better about delegating some responsibilities so we can do a better job at what we are good at and what we want to do.  #truthbombs left and right!! Thanks again Rach!

This little gem—HOLY smokes.  If you think you’re not in sales, you’re wrong.  You sell yourself to your kids, your employer, your friends, or maybe you do actually sling houses, bracelets, leggings, hair products, lip gloss…  Either way, this is a book that I can’t stop thinking about and WHOA.  I need to go back and re-read some more…  I can’t even begin to tell you how many quotes I have running through my mind from this one.

Next up book wise, will be this thriller.  I snagged a copy from the library–yay!  It’s for our book club and I have to have it read in a little under 2 weeks. I got dis!

Sunday I snuck out for a bit of alone time, bumped some music and basked in the 30 degree sun.  I enjoyed my Matcha Latté— is it just me or do they make them PERFECT sometimes and just ehhhh ok, others?  This one was kissed by unicorns.

After my morning peaceful alone time, Joe and I worked quite a bit on our biz.  We’ve always bought houses (obvs!) But we haven’t really put much effort into marketing.  We’ve decided to change it up a bit and we are now,

How adorably perfect is this logo?! My girl Rachel who runs Simply Mama Boutique on Etsy HOOKED me up.  She makes custom logos and she kills it!! We will be adding to our social media sites and promoting more, so that we can help as many people as possible.  Sometimes folks end up in sticky situations where they’re accidental landlords or inherited a home, or simply want to walk away without putting the house on the market.  We can help!  We’ve met so many amazing people and I can’t wait to see how many more people we can help this year.

Rach also made me this bomb hat— is it not perfection?!  Know someone who wants to sell a home in the 585? Refer them to me!  (we always pay you as a thank you!!)

And in other news, the condo in Brockport is available—SUMMER is coming and this could be enjoyed by you (or someone you know daily!!)

Some #mondaymotivation

Peace and love y’all!! Happy Monday.

Top 3 Trends: Spring 2019

Happy Fashion Friday friends!!

With warm weather literally here–hello 64 degrees, we missed you!!  I’ve got Spring weather on my mind!! I love the transitioning of the seasons.  It means that I can incorporate styles that I haven’t worn in a bit and be a little adventurous in trying new styles out!

Fashion should be fun and the best part is, there is no wrong way.  At least in my opinion.  Clothes, makeup, and accessories should all be a great way to express ourselves.  Sure, throwing on a sweatshirt and leggings has it’s place (I’ve lived in them way too many days/nights this past Winter!) but to put in a little effort here or there and actually try out something new is exciting!

We are so lucky to have the internet these days to see what people are wearing.  I love Pinterest, Instagram & online sites to look through and dream up ideas of what I could wear.  If I am totally honest, my favorite way to see what’s “in” or to get new fashion ideas? Traveling.  When we go to big cities, I could sit and people watch for HOURS!!  Grab a latté or a glass of vino and gosh, it’s so fun!! My favorite places to visit have been Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, NYC and Toronto.

My top 3 focuses this Spring will be: Square Toe Shoes, Utility looks, and Classic go to pieces to style up what I already have in my closet!

Square Toe Shoes

I do not own a single pair!! When I read somewhere these were a must have shoe, I went right to Instagram and used that good old # feature.  I think these are super fun and I wonder if they’d be more comfortable than a pointy shoe?  I had to giggle because back in 2009 Joe and I went to Mexico and he bought a pair of white leather mens shoe with a square toe.  He wore them maybe once, but he was so ahead of the trend!  The question is, should I try an open sandal or a closed toe?  Big decisions here!

 

Utility 

I feel like this is something that started appearing in the Fall, as I bought a one piece pantsuit/jumpsuit that I saw my bestie Ann wearing and just had to have it.  It’s a beautiful olive green and I actually purchased my 6 year old daughter a blue one quite similar that she is super excited about!

I love that a masculine outfit can be made feminine with the right hair, accessories and makeup!

I adore how this model has a belt on to cinch her waist and add more to her figure and the simple necklace and a statement bag.  (Did you see her shoes too?!)

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Check out those lips and the heels!  #yesqueen

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Classic Accessories

If there is one thing I swear every gal needs in her life, it’s a pair of large black designer shades.  Most face shapes fit a black frame so well and even if you’ve drank too much bubbly the night before (or maybe you’re just a tired mama) and look a bit of a hot mess, these babies will make you feel like a million bucks.  Ok, maybe you won’t feel better right away, but they’ll hide dark circles!  I’ve recently discovered the site, The RealReal, where you consign and buy designer gems.  Now we can score like new iconic pieces at more affordable prices. I call that a total win!

 

Another accessory must have is a fabulous belt.  I believe when all else fails, grab a solid back top, a pair of your favorite feel good jeans and fasten it all together with a gorgeous belt.  I think the red really makes a statement here, but you could always stay more subtle with brown or black. A belt to me signifies a well put together look. (with little to no effort, yes please!)

 

As for makeup and hair? On the day to day, I tend to keep a low maintenance neutral look.  I use a lot of browns/nudes and my hair is typically blown dry and I work on keeping it not brassy with a purple shampoo.

And as always, the best accessory?   Your smile.  Be happy and appreciate it all.

Which trend do you like or want to try?  Or better yet, let me know what’s on your lust list from here!

Have a beautiful Friday!

Book Club: More than a Book

What started out as a few of us girls sharing a love for reading, has honestly turned into such a beautiful thing!!  Last year a few of us talked about starting a ‘no stress book club.’  One where we didn’t even necessarily have to read the same book, but just get together, out of the house, away from the kids and chat about books, life, marriage, whatever!

What started out as 4 of us has grown into this:

You may have caught my posts about the wine bar book club.  We realized that it was a little more fun to all have read the same book!  These ladies are all so sweet and we are all at different stages of life.  Some are working moms, some are grandmas, some stay home, some of our husbands work together, some I’ve met because of my kids.  But somehow, we all bonded over words written on pages, a few drinks and tons of laughs.

Do you know what’s hard? Life.  Mothering.  Thinking that you’re alone, struggling or failing at this beautiful thing called motherhood.  Hearing each other’s struggles, triumphs, complete fails and utter disappointments has helped lift each other up and truly see what matters most in life.  Friendships, companionship, relationships…women are such different creatures.  While I LOVE being home and do consider myself a bit of an introvert, get me around the RIGHT group of girls and I feel so alive.  I hope these girls had as much fun as I did!

We had a fantastic dinner at Edibles downtown Rochester and I’m a bad blogger who forgot to take a photo of my scallops & brussels sprouts!  The Truffle tots were to die for as well.  Not to mention the brut champs…

The book that was chosen for February was this one:

It wasn’t beautifully written, so if you’re looking for a great piece of literature, this most likely isn’t for you. It was however, very gripping and kept me turning the page literally — this was the book where I was on page 77 and then couldn’t put it down until I finished at 1am.

It’s about a girl who stops at a rest stop due to some extreme bad weather.  She is trying to race the clock, as her mother is dying in a hospital bed.  She pulls off at a truck stop and ends up seeing a little girl kidnapped in the back of the van.  There are only a few people there, so she has to figure out who she can trust and whom she cannot, as the life of this little girl is in her hands.

I won’t lie, there were parts when I literally had to skim through…I can’t handle blood, guts and gore very well.  Nor did I like the awful situations mentioned, but they were brief and overall I enjoyed the book.

I’d give it 3/5 stars.

Oh and as for going out on a Tuesday night?  I most likely did not need the very last drink, “In da Club,” but it was so worth it.  Next time it’s a Thursday evening, so that won’t hurt so bad in the morning!

Weekend Review!

Where does the weekend go?!  I feel like it was a great mix of work and fun and even a little rest!

Friday we had a list of things Real Estate to do.  I was not feeling my best, so I made the extra effort to look cute, hoping it’d help me feel better.  Leggings with OTK boots at least look a little more put together, with little to no effort!  This top from Saint James Boutique was super comfy too!

Bradley, Joe and I went to check on some properties and had lunch downtown.

Saturday I hired a babysitter and was able to sneak out and get some girl time in with my friend Kristin!  She hit up her spin class and I managed to get my 20 minutes in at the gym.  We fueled up with these delicious Super Bowl (Chia pudding) dishes.  I am totally recreating this again!

Saturday night I had no desire to cook, but I pulled out this cookbook my stepmom got me and had all the ingredients.

It was pretty good!!

Sunday I got up and got my steps in at the gym nice and early so that I could spend the day with the fam!  She wanted a picture with me.

We went over to grab our lockbox at one of our properties we ‘sold’ and Brooke was so proud of herself for reading this sign.

After that we had lunch at our favorite place, The Revelry.  I snapped this cute photo of my loves!  They all enjoyed chicken and waffles.  Mama enjoyed a Wedge Salad, since the disco is coming up haha!

The bartenders always mix a mocktail up for the kiddos and they loved them.

Sunday night I felt like something light and fluffy, so I jut did baked Cod with lemon, butter, wine and white Jasmine rice.  I added some Brussels Sprouts for good measure.

Sunday night we were in bed quite early so I decided to download some Chic Lit to help me fall asleep.  I love reading and am immersed in several Real Estate books and am super excited for Rachel Hollis’ Girl Stop Apologizing to come out tomorrow!   I scooped up this book per Emily’s reads.   She is inspiring as she read over 100 books last year!

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And this?  All the feels.  So very, very true.

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How was your weekend?!

What I ate Wednesday

I love being in the kitchen!! I don’t love dishes (bleh!) but I do have fun cooking, prepping, baking, and creating meals…and I love food.  I will never be a size 2 because I just love to eat!  I have been playing around with my meals, trying to figure out how food works with my body and what gives me the most energy.  I live by 80/20, and I will admit I feel like sometimes it’s more 60/40, so I need to be a little better about that!

I find it fascinating when others share their meals and food ideas, so I thought maybe someone would like to see mine! Here’s what a typical ‘healthy’ day of eating looks like for me!

Breakfast:

On a typical day I start with eggs.  If it’s a great day, I’ll have some avocado on hand for my ezekial toast! I am obsessed with TJ Everything but the bagel seasoning.  Two eggs over easy and some spinach and a slice of turkey bacon. Delish!  I find it beneficial to fill up on a hearty meal and I’m usually starving.

After I eat, I usually whip up some of this Beachbody preworkout.  I can’t drink coffee because of my reflux, but this green tea based caffeine drink gives me all the boost I need to take on the world–err–day.  Hubby gifted me this adorable pink Yeti and it’s my designated mom go go juice cup. I throw 2 ice cubes, fill with water and a heaping scoop of this liquid gold! I usually drink it between 8:30 and 9:00 am and it stays ice cold even longer if need be.

Post Workout:

I switched up my post workout shake back to an oldie but goodie, Muscle Gain.  I do love Shakeo but I don’t think it was the best right after I worked out.  I will use it as a meal replacement if needed.

Lunch

Lots of water and for lunch I try to keep carbs to a minimum.  Spinach salad, goat cheese, tomatoes, Italian dressing.  I also had some left over ground venison meat which had some seasoning in it.

Snack:

I usually get hungry again around 3/4 pm so I try to do a fruit and a fat.

Dinner:

For dinner this is on rotation every other week.  In the winter when it’s hard to grill, I use my crockpot a ton! Everyone loves a whole chicken, it falls right off the bone and there’s usually leftovers. I serve it with pasta or rice for Joe and the kids, and here I just used cauliflower rice.  I don’t love it but mixed with the carrots (honey, lemon, butter & basil) it was a yummy bowl!

After dinner (we usually eat no later than 7, usually earlier) I am DONE eating for the evening.  I am honestly pretty full and maybe will have some herbal tea, once in awhile I’ll have dessert but I try to not indulge nightly.  I will fast from dinner until breakfast–which is usually 8:15/8:30 for me, so I’d say on average it’s a 14 hour fast. I find that I sleep better when my body is not digesting foods late night!

GYM TIME = ME TIME

I will be the first to admit, it’s so hard for me to stick with a strict workout schedule. I was in an amazing groove last year when we joined the YMCA, but decided last August that I’d cut that expense and that we didn’t need to pay that much since I knew Brooke would be in school full time.  I figured I’d go back to some at home workouts and be just fine…

Well to be honest, it wasn’t.  I did do a Stepbet which helped me keep active early Fall, but once the weather turned (I don’t love the cold, but mostly the ice! It gets so darn slippery out there!) I was definitely not as active and was losing muscle, gaining fat, not fitting into my clothes and feeling like POO!

So I decided to take matters into my own hands (stop being a victim) and checked out a local women’s only gym that is less than half the price of the Y.  Sure it doesn’t have all the cool amenities for the kids, no pool, no gymnasium, no “Mystery Cavern” but you know what it does have?  A small, clean child care center with lovely ladies who love on my kiddos.  And for $2 an hour, per kid, I can’t beat that!

I mostly noticed a huge difference in my needing to be around other women.  Even if I’m not necessarily socializing, I feed off that positive energy especially in a class like Zumba or Turbokick. I am loving my small group trainings I do once a week where I am pushed beyond my comfort zone and literally feel like it’s a personal training sometimes when the group is super small.

Some days I don’t feel like going, but I still push past it.  I may only walk on the treadmill for a half hour and then sit in the dry sauna for a bit.  I can’t tell you how amazing the heat feels on my skin, bones and muscles! I make sure to drink lots of electrolytes as I noticed I felt a little dehydrated after some intense workout sessions or the sauna.  I also use the time to maybe sit in quiet and plan out my day or read a few pages of a book.  I usually only book an hour with the kid room, so I use it wisely.

I love cute hats and headbands to help hide the dirty hair and plus I sweat a lot!! I also have been dropping Bradley off at Preschool, going to the gym and have managed to get home and shower before picking him up again! I feel like a total rockstar on those days.

This week is February break and I feel a little bad I scheduled the gym every morning, so there haven’t been any lazy days, but honestly? I feel so great afterwards and the kids got out of the house, played with other toys/kids and I just explain how mommy feels better working out! I think batman enjoys himself a lot too.

They are the reason I push harder every day.  I know that I need to be in great shape so that I can keep up with them for the rest of their lives!  I also want to model how important is is to take care of our health, at any age.

I never regret working out, but I always get down on myself when I break that promise to myself.  I have made sweating a non-negotiable lately and while things do come up and I may not workout every day, I will say that I am active most days!  Prioritizing myself has really lifted my spirits and made me do everything else so much better.

I know that my to do list won’t get ever be complete, but skipping a workout never helps the overall cause.  I do listen to my body and rest when I need to, but having access to a treadmill in the dead of winter I believe is helping me with some Seasonal Depression issues. (Not that I’m diagnosed, but I do believe lack of sun and the abundance of cold is hard sometimes!)

I still want to checkout some different classes, but it’s a great rhythm I’m in right now and I’m proud of myself for putting myself on the top of my priority list. I don’t know why it is so hard as a mom, but the saying is true. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Weekending

We had a busy week last week! Valentine’s Day brought little parties for both kids in schools, Joe working late and us attending a board meeting.  I did make a delicious lasagna for dinner and even both kids gave it “all the thumbs up!”

As for celebrating? I stopped into the Dollar Tree and scooped up just a few little goodies for our babes.  I knew they’d get a ton of candy at their V-Day parties, so I saw these adorable heart baskets, and filled them with a chocolate heart, a stuffed puppy, a little workbook and a balloon.  They loved it!  They even loved the workbooks; Brooke did hers right away and Bradley worked on his at lunch; he did a wonderful job tracing the words for each color!

Bradley did cry a little bit Friday morning saying his ear hurt, so my mom instinct kicked right in and I took him right into the Drs. Sure enough, he does have an ear infection.  I’m grateful it’s nothing crazy like the flu, but I know ear aches are awful!  Poor guy.

I am trying so hard carve out time to read our newest book club book. It’s a thriller and a page turner, but I can’t really read it at night–I don’t want nightmares!

  • Update: I actually was on page 77 Sunday night and decided to try and read a little…and well, I just stayed up until 1 am reading to finish it! If you love a page turning thriller, scoop this one right up!

Hubby and I did get out for our first date night of the year!! 2.16.19. We had not gone out since the weekend before Christmas, as he was so sick and life got crazy.  We had a delicious dinner at Good Luck and hit up our favorite spot, The Revelry for a few drinks.  We are old and were home by 11:30, but it was so nice to get dolled up, out of the house and having actual adult conversations!

Sunday brought some time for Brooke & Joe to spend together.  Since she’s gone to full day Kinder, she doesn’t get to see Joe that much and we could tell they needed some QT. She insisted that I took her and Bailey’s photo.

That left Mr. Bubs and I to cuddle on the couch. I hope he never gets to the point where he doesn’t want to snuggle!

He is all boy.  If he’s not dressed up as a superhero, running, crashing, shooting, jumping, then he’s tinkering with his trucks, cars and guys.

While Bradley played, I sat with the laptop and caught up on some blogs; I felt called to sit and write.  I have abandoned this little space here for some time, but I know that it always waits for me to return.  If you’re reading this, hello! Welcome if you are new, thank you for returning if you’ve been around for a bit.  Hubby swooped home to gift me with a Matcha Latté and it was divine.

I also worked on some advertising for our social media pages.  I’m on the fence about joining Rachel Hollis’ business coaching.  I really love her and I think I would learn so much!!

Recently a new BK went in around the corner from us.  The kids have been dying to check it out as they have literally watched it form from the ground up! I think they just love the crowns.

The rest of the day was relaxing, as you’re supposed to work 6 days and rest one.

Currently {Sunday Edition}

Reading:

I love a good thriller, but I have trouble reading them at night!  Our local book club chose this book for our next read and I can’t wait to meet up with everyone in a few weeks!

I really loved this advanced reader copy!  I don’t even want to explain any of the book because it was THAT GOOD! You just need to trust me, and grab it once it’s available!!

 

 

Watching:

I hit up YouTube for some hair tutorials before our date night. I learned a few things! I think it came out pretty well.

Drinking:

All the water and all the rehydrate!  I noticed that I was feeling really yucky and after talking with friends and my hubby, we realized I was probably dehydrating myself.  I have upped my workouts a bit and also sit in the dry sauna–I feel so much better sipping on some electrolytes while sweating it out.

 

Listening:

I have been loving this book.  It’s inspiring me to stop and smell the roses more…as well as all myself to feel my emotions, but then let them go.  We cannot sit and dwell on things and I love this concept of acknowledging how we feel but then not allowing ourselves to run away with that.  Feel and release. It was an Oprah recommendation and I find listening to amazing books like this feeds my soul.  I guess you could say it’s like therapy for me.

I just finished this book last week.  It was a little bit meh in some spots, but I did have some interesting conversations with Joe about these topics.

 

Cooking:

This sheet pan dinner was super easy!  I sprinkled a little seasoning and evoo, baked at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

I’ve been digging oatmeal, but I may go back to this breaky.  I love to dunk the sprouted grain toast into the egg and always feel better if I add veggies first thing. (Side note on the cleanse: I officially lost 3 lbs. I feel like I’m getting a better handle on my eating, but I still need to play around with how much and when I am eating.  Work in progress!)

 

Baked Cod.  I melted a little butter, oil, wine and lemon to pour over the fish and baked it until cooked.  Brooke likes it!  I needed to add more spices for my liking.  I served it with mixed veggies & white rice.

I switch lunches up when the kids are home, so it’s a little bit of everything for them. It’s a great way to clean out the cupboards too!

Feeling:

I was going a little nutty gathering ALL the tax information for our properties, but it’s all done! Wooo Hooo!!

I’m also feeling strong.  Non scale victory–small tank tops my sister gifted me for Christmas now fit!  Working out again makes me feel less all over the place, more focused and a lot better overall!

I’m also feeling grateful for family time and enjoying time all together.

Loving:

This is excellent for headaches/sinus pressure that this wacky weather sometimes gives me.  I roll it around my hair line, being careful to not get it near my eyes.

 

Incredible Soft Boiled Eggs

For some reason, I have been absolutely terrified (dramatic much?) of making soft boiled eggs.  I just recently, well as of having children, starting making hard-boiled eggs so that we could decorate Easter Eggs.

However, these delicious, delicate and perfect little bundles of egg joy we call soft boiled? I was just sure that I’d mess them up and the perfectionist in me just didn’t want any part of that.

And then Joe got really sick with his Crohn’s recently.  I still want to share more on that, but for now, we’ll stick to eggs.

I know that eggs are the easiest protein for his poor body to digest.  I make him eggs for breakfast daily, since I’ve been a stay at home wife. I also know that when we go out to get fancy Ramen, his favorite part is always the egg.  (duh, who doesn’t like the egg!?)

So, thanks to good ole’ GOOGLE, I figured out how to make these silly little things.

I now can whip up some old school Top Ramen and throw an egg or two in it for him.

I’ve even gotten fancy and added some slow cooked organic beef from time to time.

And his scrambled eggs have taken a backseat; as he laid awake one morning feeling ill, he thought about what he might like to eat.  He said his mom used to make him soft boiled eggs when he was little, with the buttered toast all cut up.

I let him have the pleasure of slicing open the eggs, as there is something so oddly satisfying seeing the yolk ooze out! These happen to be his grandmother’s chickens’ eggs.  They’re always extra tasty.

 

So how do you make these fabulous eggs?

  1. Boil a small pot of water.
  2. Gently spoon each egg into the water.
  3. For a runnier yolk (breakfast above) I do 5 minutes boiling.  For a harder yolk, 6-7 mins.
  4. Remove from boiling water and then rinse off until you can hold the egg to peel it. (I was doing an ice bath, but he said the eggs were cold, so now I try not to burn my fingers!)
  5. Enjoy.

*tip* take the eggs out of the fridge when you start to boil the water, I find they crack less often when put into boiling water, as they’ve come closer to room temp!

I won’t lie, these are a total pain in the ass to whip up every single morning! The timing of the water boiling, peeling the eggs, making sure they aren’t too hot for my fingers or cold for him to eat.  Getting the dogs out of their crates & outside, fed plus getting two littles ready for school—I run the gauntlet every morning!! But I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I vowed to be an exceptional wife and taking care of my husband and kids as well as myself is always my number one priority in life.  Some women find working out of the house their thing, decorating their homes like a magazine, and I personally find the greatest joy in cooking real food for my loves.  It’s not easy and no I am not a personal chef, nor do we eat homemade and 100% organic, but I do my very best at meeting all of our dietary needs most of the time.

I just wanted to share this recipe because I had so many questions on Instagram when I shared some photos!

On a funny note, Joe recently saw Soft Boiled Eggs with Caviar…maybe for your birthday honey, but no, not every morning!!

Let me know if you try making some soft-boiled eggs!

Thoughts as a Work at Home Mom

Snow day (or rather, “Cold Day”) number 2 with the littles today!! Honestly, I am as giddy as ever when I see my babies will be home safe with me.  Being a former teacher, I have never outgrown the love a good day off from school.  I also have the pleasure (and stress) as being a work at home mom.

There I said it. Whew.  I think for so long I have been battling with this idea that I don’t really work…and in reality?  I really do a lot of work! Simply staying home filled my days with more than enough to do.  The laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, tidying, tending to, it’s endless, am I right? No matter if you stay home or work outside of the home, being a mom is hard work but someone’s gotta do it, and no one better than you mama.

I think I’ve struggled a little bit with coming to terms with working because I don’t exactly get a paycheck, nor do I get dressed up daily and go clock in somewhere.  It’s not the conventional way I used to ‘work’ when I was teaching full time and so I know that internally I had some things to overcome.

Sure I’ve done my fair share of side hustles.  I loved getting healthy with Advocare and with that, helping a lot of friends and family find a better way to live their lives as well.  Why did I stop?  Well, honestly some of the products just didn’t work for me the way that they once used to, or how I would have liked them to.  I still believe it’s a great company and I take daily supplements but my heart was not into devoting all the time and effort into that business.

As Bradley began crawling around, I saw the new up and coming jewelry KEEP and got super excited with that! I also felt that pull of needing to be a part of something. I reached out and did a ton of online parties, made some new friends and really had fun.  Which lead me to my next little venture with Stella & Dot.

Stella & Dot had been around for awhile and while I truly love love love their accessories, what I didn’t enjoy were doing in person trunk shows.  Sure you can still have a great business online, but at the same time as I was rocking with this biz, my husband and I changed the way we were running our real estate company.

Two years ago in March we decided to switch our business model from renting single family homes, to Rent to Own Homes.  This has totally changed the game for us, but as with any business, it continues to grow and evolve. We now have ten properties and a lot of book-keeping, marketing, advertising, taking calls, paper work, collecting money from all tenants…the list goes on.

What was once a small hustle, is turning into an empire.  My husband still works beyond full time and I refuse to raise Bradley differently than Brooke, in the sense that I don’t want to put him into day care and not be with me.  So?  Somethings have to give.  There is no ‘balance’ so I won’t pretend that I’ve found it nor do I believe one day I will magically feel all zen.   But I do believe that as we grow, change and become better versions of ourselves each and every day, we have to say goodbye to old patterns, habits and move forward.

All of my experience in MLMs or Direct Sales, whatever you’d like to call them, not only brought me the BEST of friends—hi guys!!– but also a huge sense of confidence in sales.  I now surround myself with other leaders, continue to read the best professional development books and know that when I have my down days, (and oh, do I ever!) It’s always important to pick myself up and keep going.  I also learned a ton about social media, how to connect with folks and as always the number one reason why we are on this planet?  To help one another.

So I suppose I share all of this because maybe you too feel a shift and want to change.  Perhaps there’s something new you’d like to try but maybe feel like you shouldn’t.  You are never too old and it’s never too late.  I went to school for a very long time; received a Bachelor’s Degree and a Masters Degree.  While these may just be pieces of paper to some people, to me I accomplished my goals, lived out some dreams and was able to teach some amazing and beautiful souls throughout my 8 years teaching English.  The best part?  I will forever have the knowledge I’ve gained, and if I decide to go back ever, I have a NYS certification.

As for now?  I will be parting ways come March with my fun little side gig of Stella & Dot.  It was sure fun while it lasted, but I feel that it is in my family’s best interest to focus on our family business and help grow what we have started to build.  Since realized that time really is the biggest and most precious thing on earth, I really value where I spend it and whom I give it to.

I think I’ve been nervous to admit that I do in fact work, partially because I wanted to be a perfect stay at home mom, making all the meals from scratch or at least semi-homemade.  Do all of the cooking, cleaning, organizing, shopping, etc…but if you are a successful person, you already know this: You cannot do it all.  With 24 hours in the day, it’s imperative to figure out what needs to get done and what and when to let go of things.  (Grocery pickup, I’m looking at you!!)

As far as 24 hours?  I saw a quote that said, there’s 24 hours in a day.  You deserve 1 hour to do whatever you want with it.  Or something like that. Basically, it put me into tears because so often I find myself turning into ‘all work no play’ and then turning into a potato at 8pm and scrolling FB/Insta because I never gave myself one small morsel of the day to spark joy, inspire myself or heal.

I need to write more, so that’s back up at the top of my list.  Working out.  Spending quality time with the kids and Joe.  Dating my husband.  Re-establishing and even creating new friendships. Cooking.  Building our real estate empire.  Playing with our dogs.  Being in nature (when it’s not a Polar Vortex!) Yoga.  Meditating. Networking with other leaders/girl bosses. Giving back to our community. Reading.  Walking. Being.

As I continue to lean into this year, 2019, the year of SIMPLIFYING, as long as this month seemed to be, I could not be more clear or driven on my purpose and reason on this earth.  I pray that we are blessed with better health in the coming months and that by Summer time, all these seeds that have been planted, will bloom.

Makeup Monday: Perfect Nude Lip

I feel like there are so many good nudes out there, I cannot get enough!!

I don’t spend hours a day getting ready, and when I see a fab look I have no shame in asking that pretty girl how she achieved that glow! I was at Ulta before the holidays, and one chic lady working there had the most perfect nude lip!

I went right up to her, complimented and asked what she was using.

Her answer–

I’ve worn it a TON and I do get compliments too, so I had to share my find! I love that it’s a high end (MAC pencil in Stripdown)  mixed with a drugstore lip Maybelline Super Stay, color: Driver. The MAC pencil is super soft and glides right on! I do apply some chapstick first (Younique lip bon bon) and then the pencil, followed by the Super Stay.   Honestly sometimes I just do the bon bon and the pencil if I’m super short on time!  The Maybelline has a nice smell/taste too, which is key. I HATE when lipsticks taste weird!

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I will admit that it doesn’t stay ALL day, but It’s easy to apply and lasts for about 3-4 hours.  It’s

I’ve been trying to up my makeup game a bit more, while trying to stay low maintenance and keeping things simple.

And a little fun Monday vibe–

Have a great one dear readers!!

Happy Half Birthday – to Me

37.5 years on this earth.

That’s really freaking close to 40 people.

The older I get, the more I want to not necessarily slow down, but savor life?  The little in between moments.  The quietness in the middle of all the chaos.  Amongst the rush, the crazy, the real world day to day insanity that pulls.

In 6 short months I’ll be 38.

It will be hot, sunny & hopefully I’ll be sipping on some fabulous dry rosé, Veuve perhaps?

My husband will feel like a new man.  My children will be even more awesome than now, (if that’s possible.)

Life will be ebbing and flowing as it always does, throwing curveballs and strange things, but perhaps maybe it will just be that much better too.

2019 has been a bitch so far, I said it.

My heart is overflowing with emotions to share, but I’m not quite ready I suppose.  We are all doing well, so thank you so much sweet friends for reaching out, commenting and checking on us.

I’ve been so lucky to find my better half and feel a love that I’m not quite certain every person actually feels…I wish that everyone could feel it!  It takes hard work, dedication, compromise and a lot of communication, but the love I have for my husband and he for me I know from the depths of my soul is real and true and pure.

I am strong and he is stronger.

I know that each year we will get better together, no matter what obstacles are thrown our way, and trust me there are always lots!

I miss writing, sharing, feeling, reflecting…

Happy half way to 38 Jennifer Lynn; you are doing an amazing job at navigating life. Sure it’s messy, confusing, scary and sometimes all too much–but the good parts?  Oh they are so sweet & juicy!!   And I truly believe they are on the horizon.

Here’s to making mundane moments magical and always finding the silver lining…

Being Brave

In the midst of two very special birthdays, coming off of Christmas and well into the New Year, I finally find a minute to breathe.

It’s within these stolen moments where I can reflect on, count, and re-count my blessings.  Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we intended it to; in fact, it doesn’t go the way we in which we planned at all.

I’m learning to lean deeper into surrendering and to focus on the now, the present, the little bit I can control and letting go of all the things I don’t.

This New Year has been nothing short of intense, painful and quite life-altering. It’s been hard, unfair and there have been more tears than smiles.

This too shall pass.

I believe there is a bigger picture, a plan in place and I have no choice but to let go and let God.

If you’re looking for comfort, then do what it is that gives you that feeling.  Life is short, and so uncertain.  If there is one thing I keep coming back to in these brief 16 days of 2019, it’s to embrace what we are given, with the people we have in our lives.

I’ve begun a small journey with a new devotional, 100 Days to Brave.  I’ll admit I was so angry at the words I was reading and literally said to myself, “You are far from brave.  You are so not brave it’s not even funny…” and then I cried.  After a few moments of stumbling through my own in-coherent thoughts I thought about what I needed most in my life.  And then I acted on that thought.

And you know what dear reader?  That made me brave.  Acting in the face of fear, no matter how small, makes you courageous.  You do not have to go fight an actual battle to be considered brave, but you do have to figure out your next right move, (thank you Oprah) and have the desire to change.  Put one foot in front of the other.  For me it was reaching out to a friend whom I hadn’t seen or really spoken to in quite some time.  It was asking for help.  It was stepping down from “trying to do all things alone because that is what bravery is.”

No.

Being brave is doing the thing you didn’t really want to do, but that still small voice inside of you won’t be quiet and so you must act.

Do the thing, and you will have the power.  — Emerson.

The universe has my back, and I am highly attune to all the small things.  Rachel Hollis said on her live video with her husband yesterday something that made me stop dead in my tracks.

She said that it’s not going to get easy.  If you think for a second if you just work really hard and then one day poof you’ll be flying high with no cares or worries, you’re sorely mistaken.  (I know I’m improvising her words, but still the same meaning is there…) essentially we are all going to have struggles and stumble.  Through sickness and in health marriage will be hard work, babies will be hard work and living a beautiful and meaningful life will be hard work.

Just don’t quit.  You can fail. You can rest. You can do whatever you need to do temporarily, but the moment you give up?  That’s where it ends.

So while I may have a few obstacles to overcome in life, no one and nothing will stop me from going on.  I know that there will be so much good after so much pain.  Without rain, we’d have no flowers.

What helps me be brave?

  • Reading inspirational books
  • Talking to people who understand me
  • Exercising
  • Acting even if I’m scared
  • Trusting God

Top 10 Books I Read in 2018

I started the year out with a goal of reading 52 books in 2018.  While I am bummed I did not hit 52, I did read 41 and I can’t be mad about it.  I would never have read that many if I did not set a goal to begin with! (I will share my full list on another post!)

Reading is a passion of mine and I am obsessed with getting lost in a good book.  Ever since I was little I remember falling in love with fictional characters, story lines and allowing my imagination to run wild as I read though words on pages.  It’s become tricky to make the time nowadays, but this is the year of #noexcuses.

I went to school for many years to become an English teacher and I honestly wonder how many books I read through my 4 years in undergrad and then a few more as I completed my Master’s Degree. I didn’t read many books for pleasure during those years, but I did read some great books!

Out of the 41 books, I chose these 10 as my “WOW” books.  These are books I think of often, connected with, learned something and really just had a great vibe with.  As you can tell, I read all types of genres!  I really want to up my memoir game, so if there are any you’d recommend, let me know.  I love me some professional development and typically listen to the audiobook version.  Hands down, my favorite way to read is an actual hardcover book, but I do use my phone/iPad with the Kindle app, Audible and Overdrive apps too.

My top 10:

Braving the Wilderness

I do appreciate Brené Brown’s books.  She puts forth a lot of research and shares her thoughts unapologetically.  This book was really worth the read, especially if you’re someone who struggles with the past election.  She talks about how we can all be different, have different viewpoints, but we must stop attacking each other.  While I am not here to debate whether our president is a good fit, she makes some valid points about how we should act.  If you get offended over mockery of Hillary Clinton, then as a HUMAN you should get offended over mockery of Donald Trump.  I had a photo I thought about sharing, of a bunch of Women marching, with signs of genitals and horrible things said about Republican women and such.  It proves Brown’s point of how is that acceptable? What are we teaching our daughters by tearing down other people simply on their political views?  My favorite quote from this book, “Stop looking for ways you’re not belonging.”  Wow.  So true!! If you look for it, you will find it.

Educated

Wow.  This memoir is so beautifully written and Tara endured a life that doesn’t even seem like it could have happened–but it did.  She didn’t receive any formal education until the age of 17.  Can you fathom? The way her father controlled her and her brothers and sisters as well as her mother, was so bizarre and yet from Tara’s point of view, as the reader you can empathize with why and how this family lived (ie. Mormon survivalists)   Her will power and perseverance is undoubtedly some of the strongest I’ve encountered.  It has some hard to read moments, but at the same time is absolutely worth every page flip. Tara is an extremely talented writer and the literary elements are beyond expectations.  If you are a lover of words and language, she strings sentences together so beautifully to tell her story.

The Wisdom of Sundays

If you love Oprah and her courage, optimism and voice, get the audio version of this book!  There are many little interviews from other amazing people, authors with their spiritual lessons.  I will most likely listen to parts of this book again this year.  (You will find other books to read from these authors!) We only get one life and Oprah helps us uncover how to live our best lives and feel everything along the way.  Our spiritual connection with other humans and purposes is one that will elevate us to the next level.

Little Fires Everywhere

Get ready for a book hangover with this book!  It’s so wonderfully written–this story and its characters will stick with you for awhile.  This coming of age story, intermixed with interesting topics of adoption– is motherhood more about blood relation or is is the bond of love?  You will be turning each page in anticipation to see where the story leads and will not be disappointed.

The Last Mrs Parrish

Coming off of The Wife Between Us I had a total book hangover. I wanted to call the characters and see what was going on.  I didn’t think this next book could hold a candle to it as far as keeping my attention or desire to read another book right away. Boy was I wrong!! I read this one probably even faster?! It had such great detail, and right away your instincts and detective skills are trying to figure out what this main character is up to and what is really going on.  You love to hate some of these people and you really develop a desire to know how it will all unfold.  It will keep you up reading til midnight.   I loved how the book ended, and while I won’t give it away, I will say it was a little over the top…but in a good way.  Sometimes what seems perfectly perfect, may not be so perfect after all.  Definitely a must read in 2018!

Where the Crawdads Sing

This was one of my last novels of 2018 and it was a quick listen! I could not put it down.  I fell in love with the main character and felt for her every step of the way.  Basically abandoned at her home in Marsh, Kya’s tale of survival and success is so beautifully told.  You’ll empathize with her in more ways than one and I promise that it’s totally worth reading until the very last sentence!  You’ll love some characters and despise others; I recommend finding a reading buddy to chat about what happens.

Small Great Things

This is one of my first Jody Picoult books and wow.  Just wow! I listened to it over the Summer when we were in the South taking in all the history, so it truly was a perfectly timed read for me.  It delves into the topics of White Supremacy and racial issues; an African American nurse is refused by a white couple to deliver their baby, and the baby dies shortly after birth.  This story was well researched and beautifully told.  It gives insight as to how or why people act, say and do things they do.  I’m for sure not saying that they are right, but you only know, what you only know–and this book is a must read for everyone.  I absolutely loved listening to this book.

Girl Wash Your Face

Ah, Rachel Hollis.  I could and should devote an entire blog post or two to her.  She’s a firecracker for sure and lays it ALL on the line.  She tells ya how it is, like it or not, take it or leave it.  In my humble opinion, those that resonate with her, are like her.  Real, honest, raw & truth-seekers.  Those that continue to attack her, her Christian faith, her ideals, morals, her choice in running an empire and the ways she mothers, really blow my mind, but like I said, another blog post.  The book itself helps out women at any age re-discover that yes, her happiness matters.  Yes, it’s okay to put ourselves first as moms and wives.  It’s okay to want to work and build an empire–she almost gives permission to go out and fail, live out your dreams, no matter what the age. My mother gained a ton from reading this book, friends of mine have and clearly I am huge Rachel Hollis fan girl.  If you are questioning your life’s purpose, self worth or what the hell am I even doing?  Read her book.  She talks to you like a friend and spills a lot of her soul; you may just find out that yes sister, you were indeed made for more.

Think your Way to Wealth

Throwing in some good stuff here.  This old school book would get some feminist panties in a bunch I tell ya! Haha.  I love Napolean Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, the “O.G.” as my husband calls it.  This is his interview with Andrew Carnegie so there are a lot of simialr themes throughout this book, but told slightly different.  I 100% agree with some of his philosophies on how to make money, stay wealthy and the steps along the way to get there. One of my favorite quotes from the book was, “Idle Minds tend to develop ailing bodies.”  Whoa, ain’t that the truth! If you surround yourself by garbage and feed your brain nothing but crazy, your body will probably fail you earlier than if you are constantly re-inventing yourself, becoming a better you each and every day.  So often I see people play the victim and sit back and give every excuse in the book as to why he’s not better, richer, smarter, more in shape, whatever.  Either you want it, or you don’t.  “Do the thing and you will have the power.” – Emerson, from this book.

The Wife Between Us

It’s been awhile since a book has really held my attention and made me devour it in a sitting or two.  This book did exactly that!! I couldn’t tell who was who, what was really happening, who was the crazy one?! It had so many twists and turns, that it kind of did feel a little loose at the ending. I won’t give anything away, but I am still left with questions…that are unanswered and that always annoys me!  However, this book was JUST what I needed to get back into the reading saddle.  I despised some characters, felt sorry for some, and really was thrown off by a few things that came up.  There was some bothersome subject matter, but overall this book kicked off our book club and if you like Gone Girl type books, I’d say totally pick this one up or at least at it to your TBR pile.

 

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Hello 2019, you Sexy thing!

I may have had a quiet night in and no, I didn’t even see the ball drop.  I think the last time that happened I was at my Grandma Owl’s house sleeping on her pull out couch? I feel like I spent NYE there quite a few times and loved it.

It was a long Winter break full of lots of sickness, but all is well.  I will miss my little girl today! I’m not ready to send her away all day.  There were moments of pure bliss where I would just stop and watch her and Bradley play so well together. (There were also time-outs and some fights but eh, I like to focus on the good!)  It made me miss having her around so much.  I haven’t had her all day long for over a week since August!

Since I was pretty much stuck at home with all the illness (myself included but I rebounded fast, thank you God!) I was able to really organize and de-clutter my office, Brooke & Bradley’s rooms.  I still need to go through the basement playroom, but after wandering around my extremely messy house aimlessly for about a day or so, Oprah finally told me, “what’s the next right move?” I was seriously starting to go insane not even knowing where to start or what to do with myself and the insanity that was surrounding me.

It’s so true though, just break down your overwhelmingly large to do list and just do one thing. SOME thing. It can be anything, but just do it.  Now all of the odds and ends are out of my office and I am actually sitting here typing my little blog here on a clean desk. #winning

Baby toys are gone and all broken, missing pieces, fast food toys and little annoying pieces of I don’t even know, are now removed from my son and daughter’s rooms and everything has a place, I mean EVERYTHING! We are only on day 3 of this, but so far so good! If they know where something is supposed to go, it makes pick up a whole heck of a lot easier.  Plus it will help with the random, “hey let’s dump all the toys out so I can find that one thing I am looking for!”

So my word of the year?

 

Simplify

I started a few years back with choosing one word and trying to repeat it to myself throughout the year.  {2017: Success & 2018: Be}

I know my life is chaotic but I believe it could be a more organized as well as simplified chaos.  I want to focus on what matters most, what has to happen/get done and what fills my soul with happiness.

This week off was unexpected. I thought we’d be here there and everywhere doing all the ‘fun things’ as well as having some down time.  But honestly?  This is just what I needed as well as my little family and though I would not wish sickness on ANYONE especially the loves of my life, I am glad I could be the one to take care of all of them.

So here is to an amazingly epic & simply sexy 2019!

What is your word or resolution for this year?

 

 

 

Year in Review

In January we threw our 3 & 5 year old a Troll Birthday Party

Rent to Own Open House was held come February, for our real estate business.

March made me lose my mind and We got a Puppy! 

My bestie got us tickets and in April I met RHONJ Teresa Guidice!!

May brought The Most Beautiful Mother’s Day Yet!

June was stressful but we still enjoyed Father’s Day & Family Time

Joe & I celebrated July and Our 8th Wedding Anniversary

On 8.18.18 My Momma Got Married!

September brought back to school.  (I vowed myself to be a present and happy mama when getting my oldest off to Kindergarten & my youngest starting Pre-school.  I made the after school cookies, I cooked healthy meals & was very in the moment. Apparently I was so in the moment with that I barely blogged…I did share some Fall Fashion. 

October I made an attempt to blog every day, and re-introduced myself.

November came and we Stay-Cationed.

Queen of Christmas, I made sure to soak up all the things in December.

Overall, 2018 was a pretty kick-butt year.  We had some downers, and I’ve learned not to trust people so easily.  (ALWAYS PERFORM A GOOGLE SEARCH!!!!) My family grew closer, loved ones beat illness, bonds grew stronger, we traveled with the kiddos on a plane and by the way, they just keep growing bigger and bigger!  Getting a puppy was probably the most stressful and one of the harder things of the year.  Things were just getting into a groove with the kids being older, and well having a puppy is legit 10x harder than a child. I said it.

I’ve learned a lot this past year.  I feel like I’ve finally understood how precious time and who and what to give my time to.  I pretty much re-learn weekly that I need to put myself first sometimes and that in order to give, I need to take time outs for just me.

I’m working on letting go, I know I’m a control freak and I want things to go a certain way.  Like this blog; I write because my soul craves it and my heart feels so happy when I share.  However, I struggle with how much I share because anyone can read it.  I’m always real, authentic and honestly don’t know how to be any other way.  This is my happy place and if I’m going through something I share because maybe my words could resonate with someone else.

There is so much power in written words.

I pray my words will be used for good and not against me.

I’m hopeful and excited for the new year.  I will be sharing my “word of the year” for 2019 soon and have quite a few blog posts already scheduled–who dis?!

Have a beautiful New Year’s Eve and stay safe friends!

 

Self-care Sunday: Masks

Who doesn’t love a spa day??

Goodness knows that I could use an actual facial, in fact I have my eyes fixed on a Hydrafacial (This treatment offers the perfect skin care solution for the time-challenged, by bathing the skin in rich antioxidants and deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid. It starts with deep cleansing and gentle exfoliation, followed by painless extractions, and ends with a burst of hydration.—Relax the Spa)

But the reality is, spa days are far and few between.  So what’s a mama to do?

Try all the at-home masks she can!

Here are a few of my favorites.

These guys have been on rotation for awhile now; a friend told me about them and she didn’t steer me wrong!  They’re great to keep in the refrigerator for an extra cooling effect.  They’re SUPER inexpensive and I feel like the do a little something for my under eyes.

Collagen Eye Masks

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I also grabbed these off of Amazon after my step mom gifted one in my stocking last year!

I honestly do think my lips look a little more full for a few hours, but more than anything the hydration is KEY! These NY Winters are so tough on our skin.

Gold Lip Mask

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My husband and kids think I look ridiculous, but hey if I can help any wrinkles, (that may or may not be caused by them! Just kidding, I’m sure the dogs are mostly to blame!)

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For Christmas my future sister in law gifted me these gold eye patches and OMG.  Talk about a luxe treatment!! If you are looking to splurge a bit and get an even better effect–try these!

I still can’t decide which way to put them on…I like them both ways! Christmas morning sipping on some  Cocoa.

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The last facial I did get at a spa was on my 37th birthday in July and the girl told me that ANYTHING in Korean skin care was the way to go.

My friend Kristin hooked me up with some of these from a shop where she works, and I LOVED them! I then spotted them at Walgreens and just stocked up.

I’ve been trying to make it a habit to use them once a week minimum and I must say that I believe that it’s helping my skin stay hydrated, clearer and for sure getting a more “glowy” look with my makeup.

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The “bubble sheet mask” was a bit crazy! It did bubble up quite a bit and was rather foamy.  I will say it wasn’t one of my favorites, I really love the gold masks and the pearl!

What Masks are Great for:

  • before date nights
  • in the mornings before applying makeup (especially the eye patches!)
    • Late mommy nights or partying the night before? Use these!
  • at night before bed to relax
  • any time you’re feeling stressed out and need to “take a pause” from kids, dogs, LIFE!

Fashion Friday: Save on Style

It’s that time of year—redeem your dot dollars!!  They are like “Old Navy or Gap Cash” and super easy to use!! Spend $50 get

Don’t have any? I have a few extras if you’d like, e-mail me at Jenndellefave@gmail.com

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My current faves you can save on:

Chalet Vest

Darby Collar

Always Tank.

Darby Collar.

Soirée Top (in black)

Reversible Skirt

Tone it down with the black side (if you must!)

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Addy Poncho

Sparkle Studs