4th of July Re-cap!

Today is Sunday, the day after the 4th and I have spent most of the day deep cleaning the kitchen, mopping the floors (they were so bad I needed to do it TWICE.) Our dishwasher was on the fritz, the small dog puked on my bed (luckily just on the comforter so it was easily washable.) OH and I had the kids try to help me clean, I had them working on the baseboards and dusting…and then bam both of them had red swollen eyes from cleaning? I don’t know if some of the Thieves cleaning spray got into their eyes or they literally were kicking up so much dirt and dust…it was NOT good.  Side note with allergies, Bradley has been really bad lately so my mom told me to start having him rinse off every night and I’ve been changing his sheets every few days.  I have him on Claritin but I really need to get him tested. We think it’s the dog. I just ordered an air purifier off Amazon to see if that helps as well.  I also run the “allergy trio” in a diffuser.

We have been cranking with real estate, and after a quick stint with Joe in the hospital, (another side note, if you think you’ve pulled a muscle in your back but can’t really breathe, it could be a collapsed lung! — more on that later.)

The point being, I have a million things I need to do but I really wanted to stop in and share “THE Fourth of July pic”

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How crazy is this?? I had to start a new collage of photos.  Baby Brooke was in my belly in the very first photo and clearly the last one is “Quarantine 4th”– aka didn’t brush my hair, no makeup and gym shorts. It just was what it was!

Joe wants me to put a better one of Brooke in #2, so NOTE TO SELF NEXT YEAR–make a new collage. Goodness. So much I want to write and say!!

We just stayed home (duh) and had fun hanging in the front yard.  Kids sprayed the dog with a hose and each other.  We just relaxed a bit and tried not to talk about work haha.

Mr 4th of July

She cheered all day long “F-I-G-H-T” Fight Fight Fight probably 500x.

I made a delicious chia pudding parfait!

I mixed a can of full fat coconut milk

5 tablespoons chia

Mix and leave in refrigerator over night.

Then I spooned a little of that mixture and added, strawberries and blueberries, a little granola and some coconut flakes.

YUM!!

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Dinner was a Bison burger! I’ve been hearing so many great things about Bison, it’s lean and grass fed, not too harsh to digest…and it was SO good.  Joe and kids loved it and it had a really night tender and mild flavor.  I splurged with a GF bun, bacon, ketchup, mustard, pickles.

For my ‘dessert’ I had a faux latté.  I made some Dandy blend, foamed up a little soy milk, some Coconut whipped cream and a little cinnamon.  It was so yummy!

In the evening my step dad came by and we put on a little fireworks show. Even the neighbors watched!  I’m not certain who had more fun, the kids or Joe. It was so fun! Thank you Mark!

It’s not a huge long blog, but it was a little something.  Here’s to a productive evening and an amazing week ahead!  We will be coming up on 10 years of wedded bliss this Friday 7/10/20.  Ahhh!

Happy 4th of July!!!

Weekend Vibes

Happy Monday friends!

What a beautiful weekend we had.  The weather here in the ROC has been so gorgeous and HOTT! I love it.  Friday morning I did a grocery run (they had blue cheese finally– just in time for smoked wings season wahoo!)

Afternoon came and we went over to collect a lockbox and take a quick photo of our newest buyer in his new home! So exciting. This is the home that had a fire last July, so it literally took almost a year to renovate the entire house (it needed blue prints, new drywall, fresh paint, floors redone, and completely new kitchen/bath!) We also met our guy to put in new glass block windows for the basement as well. If you’re looking for a rent to own home, check us out on Facebook.  We have more homes coming soon. So happy for you Sean!

We also checked out a house on the water for a potential flip, but man oh man, it is quite a piece of work! There are many levels that would need to be cleared so we could actually do something with and make it happen…and I don’t know if the numbers and amount of man power/energy would be worth it.  More on that later. I didn’t bring my phone, so no photos, sorry!

Saturday morning we all took a little morning trip to the beach to celebrate the start of Summer.  It was heavenly!

Joe took Brooke the day before, and of course Bradley and I wanted to go as well.  It’s right where the Bay meets the Lake and it was so peaceful.

Seeing the sun sparkle on water has got to be one of my favorite things.  I’m someone who really needs to be by the water more often. I feel like my soul craves it! It brings me so much happiness and I feel so calm.

I think we found new “headquarters” for the Summer too.  We can bring some chairs, find an umbrella and set up shop for a few hours.  I think YES.

How pretty is this path?

Once we got home Saturday, we enjoyed a porch lunch and the kids played while Joe and I brainstormed and worked a bit.  We dined on bacon wrapped scallops and those smoked chicken wings I always rave about.  So. Darn. Good.

Sunday morning Joe and Brooke went on a little morning adventure again and brought me back a Green Tea Latte from ‘bux!  I know it was Father’s Day, but I was super grateful he thought of me haha!

Joe took a mid morning nap so I kept the kiddos quiet outside for as long as I could…

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And to give off some awesome Monday Morning Vibes~go get it this week!  I spent some time Sunday listening to Super Attractor again, and working on manifestation.  I have been feeling a little bit more fear, as most people may with all of this craziness going on, and I am working on shifting that mindset.  Fear is the opposite of love, and as I mentioned in this blog post awhile back, you must keep going and always choose love.

Pancake Recipe

I’m not gonna lie. I’m usually a “Bisquick” pancake mom, but I ran out and tried googled a few recipes and came up with this!   While I didn’t try any, the family said they were the best yet!

I love making a big batch and then I just store them in the refrigerator (or freezer) and then I have some yummy warm breakfasts for my love all week long.  They love fun toppings like sprinkles, whip cream, maple syrup, chocolate and butterscotch chips and fresh fruit.

Let me know if you make these.

Happy Sunday!

Friday Favorites

Happy Fri-Yay friends!! Cheers!

We made it! (Not that the weekends look much different than a Monday, but hey!) Shout out to my girl Rachel who made me these fantastic cups for our business.  She’s amazing–check her out here: Simply Mama Boutique

We had a busy week and were kept on our toes, that’s for sure.  I thought I’d share some of my favorites from this week, including a new book, a few recipes and the kiddos last week of school!

One.   We are still working hard at finding more sellers for our eager buyers! We are spending most of our days, calling, e-mailing, texting, aka contacting people who may be looking to sell their homes.   We have had quite a few people looking to leave NY all together, some are tired of being landlords, and some have not owned the house very long, that if they did list it and sell it with a realtor, they’d have to pay at closing.  In every situation, we can work directly with the seller and we pay their closing costs and can offer top dollar for their homes.

Two.  I have 2 recipes for you! I love cooking and I’m trying to be better about sharing the “recipe” or simply how I cook it all up!  I love Instagram Stories for sharing, but I thought it’d be nice to have them here too.

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Three.  My baby boy graduated from Pre-school!  We did a small outside celebration and it was perfect.  While it was not like his sister’s, we still were so proud of what a great job he did the two years he attended.  We are going to miss this beautiful little school so much! For four years we have attended classes both threes and fours, helped out, gone on field trips and I served as the Newsletter writer.  It’s going to be very strange to not see these amazing teachers on a weekly basis ever again.

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My boys!

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Four And my sweet little soon to be SECOND grader!! I cannot believe how big she is.  I just had to order her new shoes!

She wanted her “Last Day” photo taken by this tree because of its pretty flowers. She doesn’t look so little here…

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Five. I snagged this brand new Emily Giffin book–one of my favorite Chic Lit authors!  It did not disappoint. If you like a little bit of cheese, sappy romantic books that seem a tad far fetched, but you love love so you listen/read anyway–this is for you!  It takes place during 9/11…if that helps paint that picture a little better. I give it a 3.75 out of 5.

Foodie Friday

 

How cute is that graphic?! Brooke made it for me! I put her to “work” last weekend and she loved creating some cute images for me to use! She’s very creative and loves helping.

For today’s #foodiefriday I wanted to share a simple meal that my family loves! We still have not eaten at a restaurant or gotten take out, so I try to make “restaurant worthy meals” that don’t take too long. You can use raw shrimp and cook it, or buy the frozen cooked shrimp and just thaw it and toss it in.  Keep it simple!

You may have all of these ingredients in your pantry/freezer right now and I just LOVE those types of meals!  You can sub chicken in for the shrimp or leave out meat entirely and keep it #meatlesss! 

Any ‘fresh’ ingredients (like parsley and a little freshly squeezed or grated lemon) will just enhance the yummy flavor.

I like it over GF pasta or zoodles too! 

Let me know if you try it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Best Bread Recipe

Mocktail Recipe

 

Summer weather is here and there is something so refreshing about a ‘fancy drink’ on a hot day!  Don’t get wrong, I love a nice glass of wine especially on a hot day, but this is also fun for kids! I enjoy sparkling water, but sometimes I want a little something extra…without the alcohol. 

Here I took a Peach flavored sparkling water and I used some Cranberry juice (hello health benefits!) and I love my drinks extra ice cold, so a few ice cubes were added!

It’s not a complex recipe, but it’s oh so good!

Do you have a favorite mock-tail recipe? 

Weekend Wrap Up

Happy Monday! I hope that if you’ve taken the time to read this, you are having a wonderful day! The weekend flew by and honestly, we spent so much time outside! It’s been sunny and a little cooler, but I hear 90s are on their way!

Friday we hopped on our Jenn Buys 585 Facebook page and went live for the first time!! It’s always a little interesting when you put yourself out there and especially when you go LIVE! We want to start sharing more of our story and what our days look like. AND I started a You Tube Channel for the buying part of our business too.  We are working hard (at home) to truly spread the word of how we can help sellers out and also help people into homes.  (Sidenote—my roots! Oh my gosh! I actually have a hair appointment coming up so I am looking forward to that!) 

I think this screen shot of our Live from last Thursday pretty much sums it up.  I think I was trying to figure out Eastern Standard Time vs. Pacific ….just don’t Jenn. Haha

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We are looking to give $1,000 cash away this Summer to anyone who refers us seller!! If we buy the house, we will thank you with one thousand dollars! It’s the Summer of Selling!

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I can’t take much credit for my “beautiful garden”–aka these just pop up every year!  I keep telling myself one day I’ll be really into plants and flowers (like actually caring for them) I love the looking at them but it’s just not something I enjoy working on at the moment.  Do you have a green thumb?

My friend Jill planted these a few years ago and they are my favorite to look at each Spring!!

Saturday night I ended making a Pot Roast in the Instant Pot.  It was the best I have had! Sometimes it gets too dry in a slow cooker, and we were actually going to smoke it but the weather turned funky.   I don’t have a photo (shame!) but I promise you will not be disappointed if you were to try it!

Sunday we made sauce with pork and meatballs.  It was so delicious! Joe and Brooke make the meatballs and I start the sauce, but Joe takes over. (I LOVE IT!) He is better at sauce than me, as he should be since he grew up eating it on Sundays.

My friend Ann shared this yummy *easy* recipe with me to share with all of you! No campfire needed!! I will have to remember this when the kiddos want something sweet.

 

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Sunday I was in a mood for a campfire, so s’mores we did!!  It was so nice to hang out around the fire, I kind of felt like we were on a mini vacation! (though I still was ‘working’) the kids had so much fun playing outside in the grass as well. 

I don’t remember the last s’more I had, and of course since I’m GF I just went without the crunch of the graham cracker.  The chocolate and huge marshmallow were totally amazing still!

And this week’s motto:

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Week in Workouts

 

I have still been doing my workouts pretty consistently!! I didn’t post last week #life and so I thought I’d still share the past two weeks here today.  My goal is to constantly share my struggles, triumphs and thoughts so that others can be empowered, inspired or and know that it’s never too late to start! Moving my body and caring for it has always been a bit of a struggle/passion of mine.  I’ve had moments where I’m in teh best shape of my life physically, but emotionally was a bit of a wreck.  I also am someone who tends to eat all the things when she’s happy, or when I just don’t care.  When I’m upset, I tend to not eat, and that’s never healthy either.

The whole Coronavirus has been a roller coaster and if it’s one thing I keep reminding myself it’s that I must give myself grace as we now live our lives differently.  I also am working on fueling my body with foods that it needs to function at its highest capacity.  Gluten really bothers me but I also feel sluggish when I eat processed carbs that happen to be GF.  It’s never a straight-line and I refuse to deny myself foods or drinks IF I really want something.  (Case in point, I enjoyed a popsicle the other night when it was super hot out and if you know me, I love my Rosé bubbles.  Moderation is key.

OK, onto the workouts!

Week of 5/25-5/31

Monday- Booty Workout+ 20 minute spin Peleton App

Tuesday- Arms/Shoulders + 20 minute spin Peleton App

Wednesday- 20 minute spin Peleton App + Booty

Thursday- 20 minute spin Peleton App

Friday- 20 minute spin Peleton App (5 minute arms)

Saturday- 20 minute spin Peleton App + arms

Sunday- Active Rest Day – just walk

Week of 6/1-6/7

Monday-

Tuesday- Active Rest Day (walked with my neighbor)

Wednesday- 30 minute Spin Peleton App

Thursday- Legs/booty workouts + 10 minute spin Peleton App

Friday- Active Rest Day Family walk/dogs

Saturday- 30 minutes weights: Bis/tris/shoulders

Sunday- Yoga/spin

 

I feel like I am getting better at SHOWING UP consistently, and also how I am moving my body.  I am treating walks as extra (other than rest days if I feel that I need them.) I think  I am ready to start making a plan each week and sticking to it. I do struggle a bit because I want to workout first thing in the morning, but sometimes I feel like I will throw up because I have not eaten.  I much prefer getting a little something in my belly and working out at around 10 or so, but that’s not exactly working well when Joe and I running a business. I will figure it out. This whole ‘new normal’ for us.  I know some people hate hearing that, but for us, this is a totally new normal!!

 

What did you do to move your body this week? Did you try anything new?

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends!!

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It’s been an interesting year, hasn’t it? I am just going to focus on positives and light on this here blog, and send love from my heart to yours.

Yesterday was simply gorgeous! It was sunny and in the 80’s — my favorite! Some big things happened this week and we are so excited!

  1.  We had an awesome tenant move into his new home at Conrad Dr! This was the house that had a bacon fire on the stove last Summer.  It took a long time with permits, total rehab of the main floor, lots of issues that sprang up (just because that’s what happens when you remodel!) But I think that the house came out even better this time around! I want to do a separate post on the renovations of this beautiful home, but for now, congratulations to the Sean!

2. I put together my little “outdoor oasis” I like to call it.  Really, I’ve had everything but I did purchase and indoor/outdoor rug at Aldis– $50 for that size seemed like the best deal I would find!  I enjoyed sitting here for a little bit, trying to keep calm over this past weekend.  I also got a Lavender plant, in hopes that it helps keep the bugs away and also I just love the smell!

3.  I finished this crazy book over the weekend.  If you’re into thrillers, it’s pretty good! I didn’t find it super crazy, but I did want to read it quickly to see where it was headed.

4.  This guy.  What do you mamas feed your ALWAYS HUNGRY boys?!  Brooke eats a lot too, but this kid will eat a meal and still want another meal afterwards.  I gave into the fruity pebbles and he loves them…and I know that doesn’t fill anyone up, but goodness!

5.  We wrapped up a deal and will be closing on buying another house in 3 weeks!  We are so happy to help this family out as they start new ventures down in North Carolina.  If you know anyone looking to sell a home, have them reach out to me!  We are doing a $1,000 Summer—meaning, if you send us a house and we buy it, you get $1,000!!

6.  Sister likes to wear her hair like I used to back in the 80’s. I love it.

7.  We’ve been working hard– and as Joe’s shirt says, “WORK, that’s how you get it.”

8.  A must try dinner idea– GRILLED ROMAINE—OMG! I slice the head in half and have Joe just slather a little Olive Oil.  Then he grills it on all sides so parts are a little charred but not burnt.  I then added some fresh lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, here we had smoked some chicken breast, asparagus and some crumbly blue—SO good and light and yet super filling!

9.  My azalea’s bloomed. I Just love their coloring!!

10.  And does anyone else feel like we are truly in an experiment?  I have to find humor because life/this country/world is out of control.  I do hope aliens will not come visit next month.

 

Friday Favorites (May Favorites)

I thought I’d just wrap May up in a big bow, since I barely blogged at all– oy! It’s all good. May started off with snow and cold, but here we are enjoying 90 degree days the last few!  So many great things happening around here, and as always I choose to focus on the bright spots.  Life is too short to only see the bad…so here are my favorites from the month! (Totally random by the way…)

I enjoyed this cute chick lit read!  It was my favorite from this author duo, but I still finished it and walked away fairly pleased.

This month has been a HUGE growth (mindset) for me.  It’s so true, if you feel like quitting, DON’T!!! Just keep going.  You are probably closer to where you want to be than you realize! I know it’s a crazy time right now, but NOW is the time you must take massive action and not rest (too much.) So many people are sleeping through life and missing out on making dreams come true.  Don’t let that happen to you!

Joe and I have still been doing our weekly lives on our Facebook & Instagram 585 Rent to Own pages.  Yesterday’s was SO much fun.  We shared our top 3 pieces of advice if you want to stop renting and start owning!  We are going to start going live on our Buying page next week as well.  We need to help as many folks as we can!

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This happened. Cue. The. Tears.  Bradley’s Pre-K teacher came to snap a few photos of him and the grad cap/gown.  Usually the kids get their photos done professionally but since the virus happened, photos did not.  I did not get to see Brooke in hers in real life, only in the photos so my mama heart had a small moment of sadness and also excitement! What a ride motherhood is!

The weather started getting nice and warm FINALLY!!   The fort thing never gets old.

This was a “Scavenger Hunt” activity.  Brooke’s teacher posted it as an assignment, so I need to make more of these!

Super simple: 

Find an object to put on your head.

Find something green.

Find a photo of your family.

Find your favorite thing.

My Sunny Bike came and I have ridden it the past 10 days!! Woot!

I’m still juicing my celery; not every day because I just can’t keep going to the store so much, but I’m on an every other day deal.  It has helped my gut SO much.

Haircuts happened for the boys!

I’ve gotta say the hot weather has been the BEST thing about May!! We can finally go outside and not only not freeze, but actually be nice and warm!  The kiddos are still adjusting but the ice pops always help! 

We took a little drive and walked around by High Falls one warm day and little man decided to wear daddy’s old button up shirt. He tried it on for his Pre-K graduation (we may be gathering in a parking lot to at least clap for every kid, we’re not sure) but he is so cute when he’s wearing it!

Warm weather = lots of grilling meals!  We just set up shop outside and eat around the grill, it’s the best! Grass fed beef with a slice of Swiss on lettuce for me!  Don’t forget the ketchup, mustard, pickle!

I also shared an easy family favorite on IGTV as well! I made Everything But the Bagel Green Beans &   Giada’s Turkey Meatlaof .  I thought it’d be fun to share more on Instagram so feel free to follow along! Jenn’s Instagram

I had extra hot dog buns so I did butter them and added Garlic Garlic Tastefully Simple seasoning and broiled for Joe & kids.

A side of Rice

My dinner! I did enjoy some Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing.

Be sure to check out my video for a few swaps!

And this just made me chuckle. I was such a Sesame Street kid growing up, this just seems so fitting for this crazy year that is, 2020.

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5 Healthy Hacks

 

Since I just shared some of my workouts with you, I thought I’d compile a quick refresher on some healthy hacks for life, especially life in quarantine! If you feel like you’re falling more into the slumps or down in the dumps, you may just need a few tweaks to your daily routines.  I find that if I get off track, I need to stop and look at where my energy and time is going. 

  1.  Move your body AT LEAST 30 minutes every day.  Break it up if you have to! 5 minute stretch in the morning, 10 minute yoga break mid day, 15 minute walk after dinner. Boom, done! Or do a dance session, lift some weights, hop on your spin bike, play some tennis or run after your kids!  Just do it every single day.  You’ll quickly find how great you feel, and want to move more!  If you have a dog, make it a goal to walk the dog first thing in the morning and once again in the evening.  Once you’ve gotten into that habit, don’t count that as a workout, but just as a daily routine. Watch your body start changing immediately! 
  2.  Drink that water!! If you’re not drinking at least 1/2 your body weight of water or more, you are most likely not getting enough H20!! I’m not talking your teas, coffee, pop, whatever…straight up water yo!  Buy yourself a cute new water jug or one that keeps your water extra cold! Cut some fresh fruit, stick some mint in there, do whatever you need to do, but get more water. It will help your skin glow, your digestion flow, and you may even eat less since you’re probably more thirsty than hungry when you go grab that extra snack.  I’m also trying to drink a huge cup of water before a meal so that I don’t overeat as well.
  3. Enjoy SOME sweets. Fruit is not evil!  I find that if I eat enough fruit throughout the day or cut some up at night after dinner, I don’t find myself wanting to eat a whole batch of GF cookies.  One or two cookies won’t kill your vibe, but reign it in. I will even have a few chocolate/butterscotch chips with some tea if I really want.  Do not deprive yourself, or you will end up overeating.  Have a glass of wine or a white claw. It’s ok! Just try not to have 3+ or you’ll just undo the work you’ve done.  Remember we are in a wonky time so if you take away all the fun things, you may just quit and that’s no good.  If you do over-indulge, tomorrow is a new day.  Do not stress *we don’t need that cortisol raising any more than it is!
  4. Eat the rainbow!! No not skittles, but rather fill your plate each meal with as many colors as you can.  Breakfast I try to get my spinach (green) tomatoes (red) eggs, avocado, blueberries or strawberries….you get my drift.  If you find yourself eating all bland foods at each meal, you may not be getting all of the nutrition your body needs and you’ll crave it and cave in other areas.  Now that Summer is almost here, those fresh fruits and veggies will be abundant! Keep those carrots handy, celery, berries, and salads are so great on a hot sunny day!
  5. Gratitude.  I know you’ve heard it a million times but if you just take a few minutes in the morning, or at night, or both, to find a few things in life you’re thankful for, life does seem to have a funny way of turning around! I try to write in my Start Today Journal daily but if I don’t, I will still take time to reflect and count my blessings.  If you start focusing on all the bad, negative, how things could be better, than that’s all you’ll see.  Trust me, I know because I fall into that sometimes too.  But I try so very hard to have a happy headspace and focus on the good!  It’s amazing how much good will come back to you!

My Week in Workouts

Oh hey there friends!!

Sorry about going MIA there for a bit.  I don’t know how or why but something happened with my domain and long story short, my blog site and WordPress platform were not working.  Life has been busy (when isn’t it?!) and so I was finally able to get it fixed and now have found the time to come back! I have so much I want to share, since life in #corn-teen has been oh so crazy!

I’ll just start really quickly by saying we are all doing well, staying healthy and like I said, keeping busy! The weather has FINALLY taken a turn for the best so we are soaking up all the sun and fresh air we can.  With that, I have really decided NO MORE BS when it comes to my body, health, and workouts.  

If you’re struggling with some extra lbs, no stress!  These last few months have thrown everybody for a loop, so first and for most, give yourself grace and love your body.  It’s so important to keep a positive mental attitude with health and wellness and I know it’s not always easy.  I started baking a ton–which I love–but I was also eating a ton and not moving my body like I should and I finally said enough! 

If you need some motivation, I thought maybe seeing my baby steps back into workouts would help someone.  I also realized how much I have been doing and that I need to record these WINS so that I can continue feeling my best.  It’s not so much about fitting into my Summer shorts (that definitely has something to do with it!) but more importantly I love feeling well.  

Here’s my “Week in Workouts” from last week!

I will say that I have jumped onto the Peleton App bandwagon and for GOOD reasons!  (No, I do not have a Peleton, you don’t NEED any equipment to enjoy this app!) It tracks your workouts so you can easily look back and see what you did and when. I love their workouts, the instructors are super motivating and fun and the classes are short and they work!  There are levels for every person no matter where you are in your fitness journey.  

Monday 5/18 – 30 Minutes Hip Hop Bootcamp & 10 minute body stretch

Tuesday 5/19 – 20 Minutes 90’s Fun Walk & 20 Minutes Beginner Spin Ride (I did purchase a Sunny Spin Bike)

Wednesday 5/20 — 5 Minute pre-workout stretch & 20 minute Feel Good Ride

Thursday 5/21 –20 minute Bodyweight Strength & 20  minute Beginner Ride & 5 min post ride stretch

Friday 5/22 — 20 min Beginner Ride

Saturday 5/23 — Active rest day — 20 min Pop Fun Walk

Sunday 5/24 — 20 min Beginner Ride & 10 mins arms toning

As you can see, these were not hour long workouts.  I didn’t push myself to the point of exhaustion. I just did a little bit each day and that’s what I’ll continue to do as I get stronger, I’ll do more!

I know it’s hard to just start, but if you just do something little every single day, it does get easier!! And you know what? Endorphins are REAL!! I always feel better after a quick spin sesh and getting my body worked up/sweat those toxins out and it truly helps me with the rest of my life.  I feel like I am a better mom, wife, daughter, friend and human when I put my beautiful body God gave me to work! We are not meant to be stationary. We are made to move. 

What’s one way you’ll sweat this week?! I try to share more motivation on my Instagram stories daily.  I also check in with some of my friends to try and encourage each other to move it.  My sister is also incredible motivation as she has begun training for another body building competition. 

There is no better time to begin, than now.

You’ve got this!!

Friday Favorites …

Well it looks like I managed to DELETE my entire post of words.  I think I did it from my WordPress app (which is wonky) and since it takes me about an hour or more to write a blog like this, for now I will repost my photos.
I’m hoping to recover my words (from memory) but until then…sorry!

 

Tip Tuesday!

I am sure that I am not the only one that’s wanting to make her space cleaner, prettier and well kept, especially right now when all we see are these 4 walls 24/7!  I am working on the cleaning thing.  Juggling the homeschooling, a growing business, cooking all the meals (no takeout here!)  I am open to trying new methods of staying on top of things, while trying to not lose my mind! 

I actually found this tip on one of my favorite You Tubers Instagram account, Laura Vitale. I just adore her and she shares so many amazing cooking recipes! She (unlike me) loves cleaning and such, so as I embrace this more, I figured why the heck not?!  Watch me turn into an OCD cleaning freak after quarantine!

You will need just a few items to clean your micro-fiber (suede) fabric:

Dish Soap (tiny bit!)

Scrub brush

Fabric softener (Again, tiny bit but this time for the scent!)

Step 1:

Fill a bowl of water with a little dish soap, dip the scrub brush and go at it! 

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Step 2:

Fill a second bowl with water and a little bit of fabric softener.  Then, take a cloth and make those gorgeous swipes and lines! *see bottom photo

I just love the scent of this kind.  (I’m sure you could do essential oils too, whatever floats your boat.)

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**Disclaimer, try it out on a tiny bit of your fabric before you go crazy!**
Before:

I’ve tried keeping towels on the chairs, but I gave up on one in particular.  Yes, more spills and drips may have happened on someone’s chair in particular and his chair was a TAD worse than most. (Do I love showing you this photo? NOPE.  But if I can help another desperate mama who feels like everything is out of her control right now, then my ego can take a hike. Real life people–sticky little fingers, food, drinks, dogs–oh my!)

After:

Voila!

As you can see, the far left chair still needs another rub down (no names mentioned, but the one with the littlest hands seems to be the messiest!)  I set them outside in the sun to get that extra Vitamin D and dry a tad faster.  

Verdict?  Totally impressed.

*see those swiping lines?! #swoon
So now that the fabric on the chairs have been handled, I’m working on mastering the laundry situation. I’ll report back to you if I can indeed wash, dry, fold and put away one load a day.  It’s worth trying!
What house cleaning tip can you share with me? I am ALL ears!  

5 on Friday

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Happy FRI-Yay friends!! Happy. May!!

(Yes, I’m actually posting this on Saturday, but hey, better late than NEVER, am I right?!)

1. I sincerely enjoy my “Thursdays” now! Joe and I have so much fun going Live on Facebook talking all things real estate, credit, Rent to Own, and just chit chat about life! If you’re around, check us out at 3:00 pm EST.  If you know me, you know that I love getting dolled up, putting on a cute outfit, doing my hair and makeup…so this actually gives me somewhat of a reason to! I may have enjoyed a little glass of Rosé as well! 
2. Do you have an obsession with cheese too?  No? Just me…ugh! I just want all the cheese all the time.  I have recognized the problem and am trying to work on it, but I had to share how much I love Burrata!  I sliced some tomatoes, added some cheese, basil and a little balsamic glaze and olive oil.  Don’t worry, I served with Dino Nuggets and Gluten Free nuggets because I’m super fancy like that.

 

3.  My lil sis celebrated her birthday this past week and I am declaring that when we are able to, we will go out for a delicious dinner and some fabulous draaaanks.  It was nice to see her for a bit, we stayed outside and chatted social distance-style.  I made her a quiche (she loved it!) gave her some wine, a good book to read and some quarters for laundry. I also shared some Brookie Cookies and she loved them too!

 

4.  I don’t know about you, but we have cooked over 50 days (usually 2-3 meals a day) and I am getting burned out!! I love to cook, but oh my gosh, what else can I learn to make? What can I feed our family, yet again!? Lucky for me, I am hosting a fun little Tastefully Simple Party via Zoom this Sunday.  My girl Cathy has all the dinner ideas we need right now!  From snacks, healthy to desserts that are a little treat, there is something for everyone! I miss restaurants but this is second best! If you are needing any fun recipe ideas, seasonings or girl time, stop on by!!  Check out Cathy’s site for more yummy food!

 

5. I’m trying so hard to get into a book again! I have so many that I want to dive into and yet when I go to sit down, reading is the last thing I seem to want to do. I don’t know why but I just cannot seem to focus.  I need to get back to my early morning routine and be more consistent…it’s so tricky but no more excuses! This is one that came through rather quickly on Libby, the FREE library app! Christina Lauren is a fantastic chic lit author and her books are usually so fun to read! I just need to make myself get a few pages in…

Have a great weekend friends! What are you cooking or reading these days?!  Give me some inspo! 

Brookie Cookie

Well, it turns out gluten free baking is my new thing.  (I either need to start running or stop eating because oh my, quarantine 15 may be a real thing!) My favorite baked good thus far are these amazing cookies!  They remind me a lot of my favorite Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies (Paula Deen) but they are a tad healthier?! They are called “Brookie Cookies” because they are thick and fudge-like a brownie but in the shape of a cookie.

I saw these in a Gluten Free group on Facebook and everyone loved them! Well, I can attest my crew devoured them and so did I!  You can use regular flour too of course, but I used GF.  It replaces butter with coconut oil, so you do have to enjoy coconut flavor for this recipe.

They do need to chill in the fridge so that you can roll them and bake, so just build that little bit of time in when baking!

Recipe here:

Brookie Cookie {Gluten Free!}

Let me know if you try them but don’t blame me if you can’t stop eating them!

Feel Good Moments

Though things are strange, a bit scary and very uncertain, we are still looking for the good in all of this.  For my kids, I think wearing pjs for days has been a highlight!  Honestly the weather here in NY has been SO awful, we aren’t getting outside much.  Saturday was sunny and nice so we got out a little but finding different nooks to play in have been keeping these two entertained.

 

Daddy & Brooke are becoming quite competitive.

 

My skin has been out of control.  I have been trying several different samples of facial, lotions and potions.  I feel like it’s hormonal and stress, but it’s most likely all the cheese too.  Either way, I’m really working on my skin and using it as self-care.

Enter said cheese: Tuesday seemed like a perfectly acceptable day to enjoy some Charcuterie and a mimosa. 

Thursday we went live on Facebook and Instagram.  We are loving our “Jenn & Joe Show” and would love to have you stop by and say hello! We talk all things real estate, rent to own, credit repair etc.  Thursdays at 3pm est!  (Joe is also putting together a bloopers video so stay tuned for that nonsense as well!)

I made a delicious Apple Celery Juice from The Medical Medium.  

4 apples

4-5 celery stalks. 

4 inches of ginger.

Juice. 

Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and serve in a jar because it looks cool and all.  

We had a dance off Friday night.  I legit worked up such a sweat, my Apple watch asked me if I was doing an indoor run!
Lazy late morning breakfasts.

Brooke and Joe went to the land with Bailey and I decided to organize and clean out the office/craft area.  Since we spend so much time in the office now, it was so cluttered with the kids stuff it was hard to concentrate.  Plus I didn’t have any “desk space” since Joe took back his desk.  We are so happy to have the clutter removed. (I may have thrown out a whole bag of garbage from throughout the last 7 years!)

Brooke is taking to dressing like the characters on Just Dance. 

The kids also set up a Lemonade Stand, behind the couch since, #socialdistancing and as much as the extra ‘stuff’ everywhere, the kids are stuck inside too, so we are trying to let them play and be creative, no matter the mess!
School work is never boring!! I don’t make them do tons of worksheets, but Bradley was just learning how to write numbers and spell out his last name.  I bought these workbooks last Summer and they are of good use right now!

 

I always try to take apart some of the workbooks Brooke has done and do some of the activities she didn’t have to do with her teacher.  Apparently for her 1st grade, she’s supposed to be doing 2 hours of school work a day.  1/2 hour is the program I-Ready and she has direct instruction 2 days a week for 1 hr a piece.  I think that may be changing this week, so we’ll roll with whatever!

 

 

We’ve been eating great and brainstorming a ton with our businesses.  Other than the weather, we really can’t complain!! I am seriously hoping the sun comes back soon and we get some hot weather.  Our bodies need it! 

What were some feel good moments for you this past week?

 

15 Questions: Get to Know Me!

Hi I’m Jenn!  I feel like I may have a few new faces around here, (maybe not?!) but I haven’t done a “about me” post in awhile.  While in quarantine, my family and I are really taking this time to stay positive and focus on all the good things right now.  I cannot imagine this happening to us when we were kids, how would we have done school!? The internet is nothing like it is today.  Anyway, I know that we are doing our best and trying to keep a calm, positive and happy vibe around here!  I’m not perfect, nor do I ever claim to be, but I try to share my heart here and capture memories for myself, my family, and anyone else who may find some useful morsel around here.

I grew up in Victor, a small town at the time.  My father owned a family owned hardware store/lumberyard in town and my mom stayed home to raise us three girls.  We always had a house full of people, and animals!  There was always someone that my mom or dad took in to help.  That’s the kind of people they are; they were always taking care of people.  After High School I went to SUNY Fredonia where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree for teaching English Secondary Education.  I wanted to move back home to be near my family, and that summer I graduated in 2003, I landed my teaching job. I taught 7th-12th grade English for 8 years and then chose to stay home.

Ok onto the questions!

1.) What’s your Favorite Book? I honestly don’t have just one!!  The first book I cried over was Where the Red Fern Grows and I believe that was 6th grade.  I also remember starting to read Holocaust novels that year (which is intriguing because for my Master’s Degree, I created my final project based on Teaching Empathy through Holocaust Literature).  Reading for school NEVER felt like homework and I always enjoyed the books.  I remember asking my 10th grade teachers if I could read The Scarlet Letter for an independent reading project and he suggested I wait until the following year when it was taught so I would “get it.”   I got it. 😉  I loved The Great Gatsby in 11th grade and between all of the symbolism (and literary elements) and my amazing Junior Year teacher, I fell in love with English Lit.  I officially decided to become a teacher! Since then I’ve fallen in love with many books, so many different genres too! I need to write my blog post of my 2019 top 10, but here’s a photo of them!

2.) What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? I’m not a huge ice cream person, but if they have coffee ice cream, you know I will try it! Ok I also grabbed this to try too. Very odd consistency but tastes pretty good!

3.) What’s your go to when ordering out? I like to try new things especially at fancy restaurants!  I used to be the chicken parm girl, but now I tend to lean towards fish or something that may be trickier for me to re-create at home.  Dining out is one of my love languages!  I miss our date nights so much and we are dreaming up some wonderful trip ideas to try new restaurants in the future.

4.) What’s your most embarrassing childhood memory? Running full speed down a hill at my parents’ old house and running onto the deck, and through (what I thought) was an open sliding door—luckily the glass part was open, but the screen was fully in tact and closed….until it wasn’t!! There was also a time I used to “hurdle” over my sister’s Playschool Teeter-Totter.  Yeah.  I was never in Track and Field (for good reason) and I smacked my ankle reeeeeally hard on that thing.  Or there was the time I had my middle sister push me around in a doll stroller on our paved driveway.  I fell back out of it and my tailbone STILL hurts to this day if I sit funny.  #ladygrace

For kicks here’s me in preschool! Can you spot me?!

5.) What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? Rome. Hands down the culture was everything.  It was the final stop on our Honeymoon tour of Europe, coming after Amsterdam and Paris, which we loved too.  However, there was something magical about Italy.  Maybe it was the fact that Joe’s family is off the boat, so he’s so very Italian, or Italy is simply that amazing. The food. The people. The architecture.  The music. The food. The espresso. The shopping. The food…I pray for this virus to be over so we can one day return again!  I will say that so far the most beautiful beach has been at The Nest on the Island of Antigua. I mean really. Look. At. That. Water!!

6.) What accomplishment are you most proud of?  I’m proud that I graduated college, became a teacher, and got my Master’s degree. I am proud of my almost 10 years of marriage with Joe. However, nothing beats being a mom! I have never worked so hard as I did to carry them in my womb and give birth to them both!  All the sleepless nights and still the worry that comes with being mom, does not take away from the amazingness that motherhood is.  Brooke and Bradley are literally my world.  I take my job as their mother so seriously.  No I am not perfect, but I want to raise good humans, with happy hearts and lots of strength in this crazy world.  I have been SO blessed to have stayed home with them all these years.  I know that though times are hard right now, we will never get this time back.  Joe and I are also working hard on our business which is tricky because the kids want to play all the time.  We are doing fine and I need to not be so hard on myself. Some days I want to ‘teach them’ as much as possible school wise and other days I open the door and tell them to just go outside and run around—aka you’re drivin yo mama crazy! I am also proud of the woman I am becoming.  I always strive to be better tomorrow than I was today.

7.) Who would you like to live like for a day? Rachel Hollis — hence the above sentence.  This woman is amazing.  I would love to be out on book tour promoting that, dancing around on stage hyping everyone up.  The amount of women (people) she can inspire through her books, podcasts, live videos, instagram, blog….If I could just reach a fraction of the amount of people she does, I would feel as though I’m doing something in my life. Plus she vacations in Hawaii a lot so that’s cool! Or Oprah. She’d be a hoot too!!

8.) Coffee or Tea? If you’ve known me for awhile or even followed my little old Bliss to Bean blog, you know I loved me some coffee! After baby boy, I seemed to have developed reflux (so did he as a baby, weird) and coffee is one thing I have given up.  It still bothers me and now if I try to drink it it’s too much caffeine and I don’t like it.  Matcha Green Tea Lattés are my favorite (especially when Starbucks is open–is anyone else going through MAJOR ‘bux withdrawals?!) I also love a good cuppa English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Lady Grey or chai.  I also sip on several herbal teas all day, from calming, stress less and good for ‘that time of the month’ teas. There is literally a tea for everything and so many good ones!

9.) When you’re having a rough day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?  It depends honestly.  Sometimes I need time to myself, journal, read, rest, watch something on You Tube or TV.  Other times I need to snuggle with the kids, Joe or the dogs. Maybe a good workout would help.  Baking for my family and indulging in a sweet treat.  I’ve had a good solid shower cry in the past month and it’s all good.  I have learned the importance of self care and the NEED to fill my cup.  It’s not always a balance–there is always give and take.  However, when I am running on E, there is nothing left to give.  If you do nice things for yourself, allow yourself the rest, the time, the energy to do what you enjoy, life really does open up! These are just some of the ways I have been coping with quarantine! I try not to drink if I’m stressed or upset, it usually does not make me feel better. I like to enjoy my vino in a good mood!

10.) Using JUST ONE word, how would you describe your family? Fun!

11.) Who is the kindest person you know? There have been SO many acts of kindness during this Corona crisis, I don’t even know where to start! I think of my friends who shopped for us when we were so scared to go out at first.  I think of all the masks donated to us, some made with love.  I think of my parents who send small gifts and such to help keep the kids busy.  Or when they spend their nights on House Party playing games with both of them. I think of my sister who thought of my kiddos and bought some Easter items for them.  I think of how my neighbor’s son who turned 8 and a bunch of us drove in a parade behind fire trucks to wish the little dude a Happy Birthday.  I think of another pre-school mom who scored extra blue cheese and dropped it off to us (I thanked her with some White Claw!)  I also had a “wine fairy” stop by!!! Bigger picture, I think of all the people who are working as essentials who are keeping this country up and running.  Those on the front lines who are working hard on saving lives and also those who are working on a cure.  So much kindness, you just have to look for it!

12.) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Some place with a never-ending beach where Joe and I could have a romantic dinner on the sand, by candlelight.  We would also sleep in fabulous little hut/bungalows over the water! Any recs?!  I’m hoping for an anniversary trip some day.  At this point I would just love to travel to my local Starbucks and sit and smile at people and enjoy a latté with no mask. Or even the library.  It’s funny how little things really are the big things.

13.) As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A Veterinarian.  But then I shadowed some and couldn’t deal with all of the sadness of sick or hurt animals.  I then wanted to be a teacher!  I spent my senior year of High School ‘student teaching’ a 9th grade class with a fellow teacher. It was awesome and really kept my head on straight for the 4 years of college where I had to take a bunch of lame classes (like Oceanography – lame) and really I just wanted to work with kids and help them!  I never thought about working in Real Estate, but I love owning a company and running a business. (It’s in my genes!) I also really love getting to work with Joe.  It’s so much fun helping people out of homes, into homes and of course the house projects along the way. I also wanted to be a singer or a dancer but mom wouldn’t send me to NYC. (Ya could’ve had me make millions ma!! haha)

14.) What’s your biggest pet peeve?  Passive aggressiveness.  Own your shit! Sorry for the language, but if you’re not a teenager, don’t act like one.  If you made a mistake, just say sorry and move on.  And if someone does you wrong?  Call them out on it if you must and have it out.  Life is too short to be playing games.  Some people are not meant to be in our lives forever and that’s okay.  Sometimes we have to look at what is best for our family and do it no matter what others may think.  I think so many problems occur in life because of communication or the lack of it really.  We can’t be everyone’s friend and no one is perfect.  If you are just doing the best you can and trying to live by the golden rule, that’s all we can ask for right? Be a good human.

15.) What’s your favorite season?  I thought I’d end on a fluffy question.  Again, it may be no surprise to you if you know me well, but I am a Summer Girl.  I am not sure if it’s because I’m a Leo, but bring on the sun and hot weather!! Joe’s totally not a Leo and loves Summer too.  Life is just better when you can go outside and not freeze your ass off.  As I’m getting older, I am finding it harder and harder to just deal with this crappy cold “Spring” we are getting most years.  It is one thing I wish I could change, but have no control over, so I will just stay focused on the future and I am hoping May brings some 80 degree days!  I love feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin. Vitamin D is so good for you!

Have any other questions? Let me know!  I find these fun to read so if you do something back, be sure to tag me.

Happy Friday and stay healthy!

Amazon Wishlist

Hayyyyyy frraaands!! How are you doing? No really, how are you? I hope that if you’re having a down day or rough day, that you time a time out for yourself and do some self-care.  I hope that if you’re feeling great and having an awesome day, that it continues! What a crazy roller coaster of emotions this whole ordeal has been. But I keep finding myself coming here to share my heart and if I’m up for it, keep things light!

I thought I’d share some things on my “wishlist” lately.  I don’t know about you, but I have to really check myself on shopping because there are a gazillion things I’d love to grab for myself, Joe or the kiddos.  However, I know that we do not “need anything” but if this weather doesn’t let up or if we are staying home for longer than anticipated, I may have to cave and get a little something.

I have a few books that I have my eye on.  Some are not even available yet, so all we can do is pre-order!  My mom has been sharing so many tips from the guy from Medical Medium and she said his new book comes out this week.  If you’ve been reading my blog lately, I have shared that I have some digestive issues, and honestly if we were not under quarantine, I would ask my doctors to test me for SIBO.  (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)  Anyway, this book is full of lots of smoothies and juices, plus reasonings behind how our lifestyles and the foods we eat contribute to our illness.


I know I’ve mentioned this book before, but it’s officially out now!! Lots of fun workouts, living a peaceful life and yummy (and healthy) meal ideas!  I am enjoying sneaking more superfoods into my family’s diet and they have no clue!

I was just saying my friend Ann that none of my favorite authors have books coming out and then bam! I saw this on another friend’s insta account!  Emily Giffin is always a good read and I think this one will be out this summer!

I just adore Joanna Gaines and her second cookbook is now out! I love her decorating style, her simplicity finding joy in every day and her delicious meals.  Speaking of, I need to pull out her first cookbook and whip up some more dinners!


Christina Lauren is a fantastic chic lit author and her books are usually binge-worthy! I am on the waiting list through Libby for this, but I most likely won’t get it until July.  I may have to scoop it up on Amazon before that!

I’ve got about 3 more smoothies in my protein before I need some more. I also am trying to get more collagen into my life–my skin has been crazy lately! Ray Ray Hollis uses this one so it must be good, right?!   

I’m crushing on these BoHo headbands!  A friend just sent me a tutorial of her hair and she was wearing a similar one–a simple yet fun way to still look cute in quarantine! I’m trying to get her to make some You Tube or Instagram tutorials because she is adorable.

 

I want to try these leggings since everyone and their mother says they are the same as Lulu. I have a hard time believing they are as good, but for $25 it may be worth the try?

I really need a larger Kettle Bell. I have one that is 7 lbs but 15 would be perfect! Now that I have my Basement Gym all set up, it’d be nice to up my game a bit more.

 

I think it’d be fun to grab a puzzle for the whole family to work on.  This one reminds me of walking a Paris street in the rain.

My husband is giving himself and my son haircuts and could use a better clipper. I don’t even know if this is a good one, do you?!?

 

This could be fun this Summer! We don’t have many ‘outdoor games’ for all of us and I keep picturing us going to our land…we’ll need some things to do to pass the time.  We could play with it here at home too.

I am looking for another pair of lounge pants—I love the flowy part of the bottom of these! I dunno if I love the drawstring though?

I feel like I keep trying to create different scents in our home. Today as I type it’s homemade cinnamon applesauce haha!  But I always like to have at least one nice candle we can light from time to time.

I have never had an ‘adult’ coloring book but I have been looking into them.  I just feel like I need to find things to do (off my phone) by myself to kind of rejuvenate. Do you have a favorite coloring book?

We don’t have a dartboard, but how fun would it be?? Again something to do as a family or even on a ‘date night’ with Joe.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links. My blog would make a small portion. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

Basement Gym

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I don’t know about you guys, but 30+ days into this stay at home thing and I was really needing my own space.  I’ve always been used to having my own room, closet, part of a room–something! But obviously being married, having two kids and two dogs, we are all up in each other’s Kool-aid and I don’t really mind, I love my family!! However, most days I need a place where I can honestly go ‘disappear’ and listen to my hip hop and rap music and workout.  

It really stemmed from not being able to use the office any more as we are truly using it for working purposes and there is just not enough room.  The kids tend to be in the living room a lot and our bedroom doesn’t have a ton of extra space to move and groove.

Enter: The basement!

I did not want to spend any money, so I took some ideas from my mom.  She told me to shop my different rooms and put something together.  Genius idea!  Joe had just taken my mirror down in the office (To replace with a sophisticated world map I bought him years ago!) so I thought heck yes! I need to see my baby muscles grow!

From there I just grabbed all of my workout equipment.  Dumbbells, kettlebell, bands, yoga mats etc.  I have a chair right here because I was doing the Barre Blend workout via Beachbody on Demand. 

I also have some totes with old items I used to decorate with and just grabbed some older throw pillows to soften up the area.
I also thought some girlie twinkle lights would add some bliss to my space.  Add some faux candles (thank you Dollar Tree) and all of a sudden I have a happy feminine place to get into shape and be my best self!

I brought down my Start Today Journal and regular journal, so I can take a few moments and reflect before or after my sweat sesh.  

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I also love my Beats Pill Plus for extra noise (like I said, love me some gangsta rap!!) 

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Current playlist (I just stream You Tube): NOT FOR LITTLE EARS

 

 

So here is my challenge for you, readers!  What part of your home can you create your own little nest? Could it be bringing something from inside, outdoors at the weather changes?  Set up a little coffee sipping, journal writing, meditating spot for yourself.  Maybe you have a little room in a spare bedroom you could create a nook.  Maybe your basement just needs some re-arranging and with some pretty things, you too can have a blissful spot.  Or it could just be having a “spot” you retreat to daily (or when you need to!) have a glass of wine, a cup of tea…just to breathe and zen out for a few.  Home can be a beautiful and wonderful place or it can be dark with doom and gloom.  Take a little time planning, set a timer for 10 minutes (that’s what I did and then I KEPT cleaning the storage and before I knew it, I had my space!)

Be sure to share with me any ideas for some personal space in your home. 

 

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Spring Break & Easter

We had “Spring Break” last week even though we were supposed to be ‘in school’ all week too. Whatevs. We made it to the land last week on a beautiful day.  Note: Don’t forget to bring a bag of snacks ON the walk because 5 year old may die of starvation.
We walked the trails, checked the cams and the kids love climbing the tree.

I can’t get over how cool the pictures of the animals are from the trail cams.  Look how many were chillin in this photo?

While I have no idea what the future holds, I do love it here.  It’s nice to have our own private park to visit especially during this time.

I will say we used Scavenger hunt that Brooke’s school sent in an e-mail to do as ‘classwork.”  Both kids loved looking for all of these!

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We may have had a Happy Hour…or two.

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Easter was really low key.  We enjoyed these delicious and colorful eggs from my dear acupuncturist! How gorgeous are they?

Brooke dyed some eggs–these were actually fake! My sister brought some over. Bradley wanted nothing to do with it, so we just did them. Now I can save them for next year too! 

Since we didn’t have any place we COULD go Sunday, I had fun baking in the kitchen! I made some really good banana chocolate chip bars with chick peas—yes really! Kids loved them and I did too!! (Gluten Free)

Throw everything in the blender/food processor and you’re good to go.

Definitely check out the recipe here!! 

They are delicious warmed up and enjoyed with a chai latté.

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I also made these oldie but goodie Vanilla Cupcakes from scratch.  I love that these only make 12, and they are dense/thick but still light and fluffy. NOT Gluten Free, but everyone else seemed to love them.  I used to love them too!  Recipe here on my old blog.

My Dad and step mom stopped by to wave from a distance.  We stayed far away but it was still nice to see them in person!

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Later that day I sat on the back deck and did some planning…and the sun came out! It literally felt like Summer is so near.  I am ready! It was a blessed day. 

This week we have been getting back into the swing of Google/Zoom classrooms and staying more focused on school work.  

Friday Favorites

Happy Good Friday! It’s currently snowing here in New York..awesome.  The weather has been less than lately, so we’ve done a lot indoors (with the exception of one day at the land this week!) So I thought I’d share some of what we are loving around here lately!

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1. We tried out Disney + this week and it was cool.  I don’t see us keeping this subscription but it was nice to watch a few movies on.  The kids had never seen Frozen II so that was the main reason, but I also kept seeing moms on Facebook talk about this other movie being really good, so we had a family movie night and watched it.  I am very emotional and sensitive and may cry more than the average person, but this move tugs at your heartstrings!  The whole story was based on how the boys had lost their dad (the youngest one never met him) and they were on a quest to basically help bring him back for the day with this magic spell.  I know it sounds a tad out there, but really if you look past the magical component, the messages were great.  Cue the tears and the kids actually requested we watch it AGAIN last night, so I highly suggest it for kids of all ages.

2.   Real Estate

If there were ever a time to be “sharpening the saw” I would say now is it.  I had a bit of a rough patch last week mentally/emotionally but I worked through the Corona Funk and now working harder than ever. Joe and I have had our real estate business for years now, but with the way the economy is, (and where it is going) we are bound and determined to be able to help as many people as possible.  We have creative ways to help folks out who are paying unwanted mortgages. There are so many sellers out there who need help and I feel like now that I’ve gotten real quiet, prayed and focused, I hear you God.  I feel the call and know that we are needed more than ever.  I still have a lot to learn, but I have a pretty kick ass teacher/mentor/coach.  He’s not easy on me, but he knows his stuff.  Thank you Joe!

3.  I’m currently reading/listening to a few books.  Shocking, I know! 😉

For fun I picked up J Simp’s book at the library pre-lockdown.  It’s a big one, as it’s her life story.  She writes like she talks and I would bet that she pieced together a lot of her journal entries. It’s kinda cool to read how she grew up and I’m only at the part where she has just met Nick Lachey and how she knew she was gonna marry him.  I feel like since she’s only a year older than me, I can relate to some of what she went through. (Clearly not the pop star icon bit, but you know…) She also opened up in the beginning about how her dad told her in the hospital literally as she’s about to give birth to her first baby that he was divorcing her mom.  She put into words exactly how I felt–all the visions of her parents being the grandparents to her own kids was ripped out from under her.  I can personally say that took some time to really come to terms with.  When we have  expectations, it’s hard when we are disappointed, regardless of what’s best for whom, it’s okay and necessary to allow yourself to grieve, feel the feelings, forgive and move on.

I am listening to Dave’s book on audio. It has good parts, but I’ve read both of Rachel’s books and listen to them daily, so I can’t say it has ‘moved me’ much.  Plus, I’m not a skeptic and I know that I am in my own way so I constantly am working on myself.  It does bring up great points and I just listened to parts of it where it talked about our love languages and relationships (especially marriage). We can be so different and hard on ourselves and particularly our spouses, so it’s important to step back and think about what the other person truly needs, not what we think they need.  Talk about a gut check in a time like now where we are together 24/7!


The third book I am reading is my personal development book I like to read in the morning.  I bought it awhile back and figured now is as good a time as any to pick it back up.  It’s based on Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich (which he wrote during the Great Depression) but it’s written more geared towards women because we truly are different creatures! It’s fun to be able to talk to Joe about what I’ve read as well because to him, TAGR is his bible.  I also love that it starts each chapter with a quote; the last chapter I read started with the good old, “When you know better, you do better.” – Maya Angelou


4. In “homeschooling”news aka keep your kids happy and busy, my sweet friend Alison dropped off some items her kids outgrew and my kids LOVED!!

2 hours.  Yup.  2 hours my kids played with this stuff! I loved seeing them be creative and play together so well.  I pulled out some of the playdough toys and they were set.  They’ve actually played with it a few times now and for $9 I’m sorry I didn’t buy it myself sooner! It’s not that messy really and cleans up really easily.

Another item was. “Busy Box” which was just a big old box of crafts and ideas.  We have some stuff but this was awesome. I will say Bradley has no real interest in it, but Brookie is just loving it.  She wants me to sit and craft with her so we will do that today or tomorrow.  If you don’t have a big craft stash or need to replenish, definitely check this out! Then head to You Tube or Pinterest to get more ideas.

5.  My favorite day this week was getting outside and walking our land.  The sun was out and we didn’t need coats.  I love watching them follow Daddy and we explored the trails.  We are excited for more consistent nice weather and to get out here more often.  Maybe pack a picnic lunch, build a fire and roast some hot dogs and just spend the day.  Heck, maybe we’ll buy a tent and camp out! So grateful that Joe and company have cleared the trails so we can easily walk through.

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*This post contains affiliate links in which I would make a small portion. As always, thank you for supporting my blog!

Grocery Shopping during Covid

Well I did it. I finally went to the grocery store!! Goodness I was a ball of nerves the last few days and I think mostly because of having to leave my house and venture off for food! Now, I am well aware it may sound dramatic, but my last grocery trip was March 12.  With help from friends and family, we have been living comfortably for a whole month! It wasn’t until these last few days where I was completely out of fresh fruits and veggies and running low on eggs and milk.  I was pretty proud of us!

It was a surreal experience to say the least, and though you may have gone many times already, I felt that I should blog about it, for not only my own memory, but my kids and grandkids as well!  I keep thinking about how this is something that my great-grandchildren will be learning about and thinking, “Wow that was sooooo long ago!” much like I do when I think about WWII etc.

So here’s what I did to ‘prepare’ myself for this outing.

  • Wrote a grocery list on paper
  • Brought only a credit card in my coat pocket (no purse!)
  • I had my key and my phone in a separate pocket, as I would not need to touch
  • Mask
  • Hair back in a low bun
  • Hat
  • Sweatshirt and then a coat over that
  • Wipes for my cart
  • Gloves (I know this is debatable, as long as you are using sanitizer or immediately washing your hands….I just brought a few pair of disposable gloves)
  • Glasses— so Joe wanted to me to wear Goggles, (don’t have any) so I tried using my Blue Blocking glasses, but really they fogged up and I couldn’t see so I shoved them in a pocket. I tried.

I went to Aldi first and there was an employee who was wiping down carts — no quarter needed.  They blocked off the entrance so that you must go around and get a sanitized cart.  There were tons of signs everywhere stating stay 6 feet apart from each other.   Now, most people were wearing masks, not many wearing gloves too, but there were a lot of folks just walking around like no big deal.  I should say I’m not surprised but I was.

I was so happy to see it so full of food! I have never in my life been so grateful for fresh fruits and veggies–I was so excited! There was so much bread, snacks, etc. Lots of meats and honestly nothing seemed “out of stock.”  You could only take 2 butters but other than that I didn’t really see any other signs.  I remember teaching The Diary of Anne Frank to my 8th grade students years ago and they for the life of them, could not understand “ration coupons.”  I bet they get it now.

I felt bad for a mom who had nothing covering her or her baby’s face– she ran in, holding the baby in a car seat and we know how heavy those things are, and only had formula to buy.  Another lady and myself both let her go ahead of us at checkout.

Once I got to the checkout belt, I placed my items on there and there was a plastic shield between myself and the cashier.  She had on gloves and a mask…where the money/credit card machine is, there is still space so you still need to keep your distance.  This store was still swapping carts but she was wiping them down…I wiped it again anyway.

I decided that though it was chilly, I would just bag my groceries in the truck so I didn’t have to stay inside the store any longer, but as I stood at the taped line waiting my turn at the checkout, I saw snow. So that was fun, to say the least! (Side note: anyone who is in quarantine with weather above 60 degrees has NO right to complain about anything. #justsayin!)

After I loaded my groceries into my bags at my truck in the blizzard, (I tried to wipe them down as I placed them into bags but my hands began to freeze and I gave up and just shoved them in and said a prayer.) I walked my cart back and wished the employee wiping them down to stay healthy and warm!  I took off my gloves, wiped my hands with a wipe and my steering wheel etc…then called my hubby to let him know I survived the first store and was heading to Wegmans for “luxury items” such as hot sauce and dog food.  I may have grabbed some Jergens tanning lotion and lipgloss–I needed something people!

Wegmans also had a designated “Entrance and Exit” to help keep the herd going the right way.  In both stores people would still walk right by you, no 6 foot distance apart…some with masks and some without.  You could tell that more ‘stuff was missing’ from Wegs probably because I’m just so used to seeing it overflowing with everything there.  Bare shelves where cleaning supplies would be and the meats were not as stocked up. I could not find the Country Style Bone in Ribs that Joe’s grandma likes to put in her sauce to make it so yummy.  Maybe next time…

As for checkout, it was very strategic.  One man would tell you which lane to go to and that was it.  No one else was next to you.  Same thing with the plastic shield and this time my cashier had no mask or gloves…yikes!

Once I got home I took everything out and wiped all of the freezer and refrigerator items down so that they could be put away immediately.  As for pantry items and most produce, I left them in the garage and will get to them in a day or so.   As soon as I was done with the sanitizing, I immediately stripped, left my clothes at the washer/dryer and headed straight to the shower for a full on shampoo etc.

Now that I’ve officially gone out in the wild, I feel so much better. I feel better knowing there is still an abundance of food for us.  I feel better just seeing people in general, even if they were not keeping the distance.  I feel better feeling like I accomplished something haha!

Thank you to everyone who has reached out and given us masks! I couldn’t believe the immediate love from friends and family who sent us some. Thank you!

Stay safe and healthy friends~

If I’m Being Honest…

It’s Wednesday morning and I did not want to get out of bed today.  It seems like it’s getting harder and harder for me to want to get up early. If it weren’t for my 5 year old telling me his tummy was grumbling because he was hungry, I very well could have laid in bed until…

I’m sharing my thoughts today because this is such a crazy time.  We have no idea when this virus will go away, when we can go to the store without fear of picking up germs to bring back to our family.  We have no idea when we can hug and squeeze our friends and family outside of our quarantine circle.

I keep volleying back and forth between, “everything is okay and everything is so not okay.”  I am working hard on my meditations, literally listened to 3 or 4 before I checked any social media today.  I try to allow myself time to process, grieve and allow myself to feel the feelings.  Yes some people have it worse, but it doesn’t make your or my situation any easier.

I keep reminding myself that the kids are happy and healthy.  Joe and I are healthy, and if I’m being honest, he’s always really happy! It’s me who spirals out into monkey mind of, ‘what if’ and ‘what about’?  But that’s always been us.  He’s Mr. Sunshine even on the grayest day, and that’s one of the things I love about him, but he’s him and I’m me and we are different.

So I guess all I’m trying to say is, if you need the good old fashioned shower cry, go ahead and do so.  But please talk to someone, write things down, and give yourself some love.  Read some books, watch some TV, work on a craft or bake if that is your thing.  As humans we need to feel productive, so I always feel best after baking my family cookies or crafting a blog post.  I want to continue to show up, even when I don’t feel like it.  Yup.  I don’t feel like doing a lot these days.  I was killing my at home workouts with Tone it Up routines and then bam–stopped.

I still walked the dogs the last few days, but not showing up and sweating and getting that extra cortisol out really messes with me I think!  I’m making it a goal to sweat daily again. My body, mind and soul needs that extra push right now and it’s so true that we should be taking the very best care of ourselves during this time.

I’m still getting up and writing down 5 things I am grateful for in my Start Today Journal.  I am writing in my journal.  I am working on quieting my mind when the negative chatter comes into play.  It’s an all day every day battle and I will admit Sunday I even had to check out a bit.  I laid in my bed and watched Hulu for a little while.  I just needed a tiny break.  We are not meant to be “on” 24/7 and as moms, wives, friends, daughters, we are fixers and trying so hard to make things right.  I check in with a few close girlfriends and my family through Marco Polo or House Party.  I do think it’s important to stay connected as much as we can!

As for a “Schedule” — nope. We ain’t got one! I love a good routine and groove, but my kids are still little so they’re not sitting in front of computers or iPads for hours on end.  I kinda just let things go where they may.  They have been enjoying a bowl of cereal on the living room floor and watching cartoons together.  It’s the little things. If the weather is nice, which it was yesterday, ZERO worksheets were done. Sorry #notsorry Cuomo.  Instead we all hopped in the truck and spent 5 hours at our land. Walking in nature, looking for items on a Nature Scavenger Hunt.  We saw worms, animal bones, feathers, deer poo, and got real muddy.  I even got a little sunburn on my nose! It was glorious.

I know that I cannot play the “I will be happy when…” card, but I do know that once our weather finally breaks and this 30/40/low 50 degrees crap is gone, we will be living outside! It is supposed to snow this weekend so Joe already promised me a fire.  I can live with that.  I have my Jessica Simpson book I want to finish!

I guess my rambling here is it just let you know, you are not alone.  No matter where you are and who you’re #stayinghome with, just keep going.  If you look for the good, you’ll find the good. If you look for the bad, well you’ll find that too.

1. Plug keep plugging into positive people, my personal faves are, (aside from my husband)

Rachel Hollis

Cambria Joy

How Jen Does it

Gabby Bernstein

Elena Cardone

2. Sweat.  Need ideas?

Tone it Up (You Tube and Free app)

Peleton (going to try)

Beachbody on Demand

 

3.  Laugh.  It really is the best medicine.  Memes galore right now, lighten up and see the humor in the dark.

4.  Eat healthy.  I’m struggling with this one since I am out of fresh fruits and veggies, but try really hard to eat 5 colors a day, throw in some extra frozen vegetables or a smoothie.  I’ve been eating Gluten Free and feeling pretty good! Make efforts and cook from scratch! (No preservatives.). I’ve been following Cara and Christina’s new book ideas.

Wellness Remodel

5.  Show up.  Show up for yourself. Show up for your mom. Show up for your kids, your hubby, your dog. Just keep showing up.  Baby steps like the move What about Bob.  We totally need to watch that this weekend, we just love it! But seriously, DO SOMETHING that makes your soul happy.  We will never get this time back.  The negativity will creep in but you can stop it; we just have to keep showing up. Be the light. Bake the cookies with the kids, play the family board game, make some memories! This will not last forever.
Let me know what is helping you get through the tough moments right now!

Spring Holidays & Decorating

Hi friends! I wanted to lighten it up a bit and do a fellow blogger’s list of questions! I grabbed it off one of my favorite bloggers, Danielle over at Sparkles and Lattes. I thought it’d be fun to play along.  Let me know if you do it too!

1.Yes! I don’t go crazy with decorating but I always have a little something up for each holiday.  I’m a sucker for door wreaths, signs, anything adorable the kids craft and I do love bunnies! (Joe has called me Rabbit or Bunny for 12 years now!)

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2. We celebrate Easter, my sister Brianna’s birthday, Mother’s Day (which should be a week long this year, am I right?!) and I’m always down for some tacos on Cinco de Mayo! hehe 

3. As for fun Spring traditions?  We usually go to the Ugly Disco this time of year…but like most things, it was cancelled for now.  We also enjoy muddy walks with the dogs and kids at our land.  There are usually some chilly playground runs and we are always itching to get back to BBQ time in the driveway! Bring on all the smoked meats–and cheeses!  Once Memorial Day hits it will be warm enough to grab some flowers and herbs, but much before that we still have freeze issues.

4.  I’ve been cooking so much lately, and I just found a really yummy one I made the other night! I grabbed some Turkey cutlets on sale at the store before the quarantine, and decided to whip them up last night.  There’s something so heavenly about a lemon, wine, butter & caper sauce paired with a glass of Pinot Grigio.  I had mine with salad and served pasta with some oil, salt/pepper, parm cheese & lemon juice for the rest of the gang.  Here is the Turkey Cutlets in Lemon Caper Sauce recipe!! Let me know if you make it.

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5.  I don’t really switch out much decor.  I have visions of one day (in a new home) to have fun coordinating themes for each season, but with two rough and tumble kiddos and two dogs, I just don’t make the time to do much with decor.  I need to get better about this! Our style is less is more, as clutter and extra stuff just drives us bonkers.  But we could use some more pretty pieces around here.  Some day! 

6.  Outdoor Spring decorating touches–I guess other than fresh flowers? Probably not. Kids are always collecting rocks, sticks, leaves and pinecones…but that’s about it.

7.  My favorite Spring cocktail would be a “Flirtini” from back in the day SATC.  

Vodka

Part pineapple juice

Champagne

Otherwise I just love champs, rosé bubbles or a solid Pinot Grigio.

8.  Pink? Pretty please! I have loved the color pink for so long now.  I adore a soft ballet pink or crush on a hot barbie pink.  It’s so happy, feminine, and blissful.  I think it’s a great color to wear especially if you’re looking for an instant mood boost.  I also love a pretty off pink like coral.  Something about coral and mint this time of year makes my heart happy. 

9.  My favorite Spring flower would be Hyacinths! I planted some a few years ago and they still pop up each year around Easter.  Mine are just deep purple I would love to plant some more colors!

hyacinths-marcin_jucha_ss 

10. That said, things are JUST starting to bud, not yet blooming.  There’s a lilac bush out back we are keeping a close eye on, and I see some little green bits on the edges of the trees. I have also noticed a few daffodils have poked through and I bet in another week or so they’ll pop open.  We did have one pretty purple flower open up now that I think about it.  It’s still high of 50 if we’re lucky and quite chilly most days and nights. 

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Let me know if you join in on this light-hearted fun!

Easter Basket Fingerprint Craft

Do you have little ones home with you?  I know it’s not easy juggling all of the cooking (we have not eaten any takeout in 22 days and have no plans of doing so any time soon! #stayhome) cleaning, homeschooling, working from home…or stressing since you may be unemployed.  This time we are in is simply absurd and the best advice I keep telling myself is to not stress.  I personally love doing fun crafts and “school” with my kids, but I also know they are little and I do not expect them to sit still for hours on end.

However, I do enjoy finding different ideas to craft and then of course decorate with.  I have always done little things since the kids were able to craft, so it’s nothing new around here, but I it’s happening more frequently now. I thought I would share some of them here, and maybe you too would like to try them.  I try to keep them inexpensive with minimal printing or needing extra items that I don’t already have in the home.

My two children are 5 and 7 and they both loved this! My 5 year old kept it simple and really enjoyed showing his Pre-K teachers and friends on a Zoom call.  My 7 year old added a bit more detail and really loved her end result.

For this activity you will need:

Draw a basket or Print a copy here.

Fingerprint Easter Basket

Crayons, markers or colored pencils for the basket.  (Bradley even made a pattern on his own!)

Paint (as many colors as your child would like).

Your kids’ fingers to paint with!

It’s simple but fun.  Let me know if you decide to do some fingerprint Easter baskets with your littles!

I know it’s hard mamas, but we will never get this time back (as always) and we have the chance to make some fun memories for our kiddos. They won’t remember being scared or stressed, but they will remember how you took some time and did little special things with them.

Friday Favorites

Happy day 21 in self quarantine! What an emotional roller coaster of feelings.  I feel like we’re getting into a better ‘groove’ with the kids and their online learning, virtual dance classes and structuring the day so we are all a bit more productive.  That said, we’re truly soaking up this time together as we know how precious it is.  (as I’m typing this, I keep glancing over at Joe and the kids who are doing Just Dance 2020.  Bradley beats all of us. All the time!)

I’ve been trying to balance my time otherwise I literally find myself in the kitchen morning, noon and night.  I sent Joe a bunch of smoked meat (and cheese!) ideas for next week, as the weather cooperates and I just can’t slave over the stove any more than I have to! I sincerely don’t understand how people are bored or have watched so many Netflix shows, but we do have a full house and well I’m not one to sit long anyway.

1. Super grateful for friends and family who are so thoughtful during this time! We’ve had some groceries & goodies delivered from my sister and other staples and fun crafts for the kids from one of my best girlfriends…I in return gave her some flour I had extra and some homemade rolls to try.

Sorry you couldn’t come in Bri!! Thank you so much for driving out here.  We love you!

2.  I thought about doing the “Next 90 days challenge” with my faves the Hollises, but then I saw these two are getting ready to launch their book coming out soon and in honor of that, they are holding a two week challenge which I am loving so far!  It’s simple but you need to be mindful:  Daily: Move, Eat 5 colors, Smoothie, Pray/meditate, Give yourself Grace, and water.  I’ve been coloring in hearts on a chart and Brooke saw and wanted to do it too…I thought this was great! What a healthy way to teach her how to care for herself daily, even during a crazy time.  Pre-order a copy here!! 

So of course I’m all eyes for new smoothies to try–this was delish! I follow Cambria on Insta and You Tube.

3.  I got back into my ‘morning routine’ this week.  We don’t ‘need’ to get up early, but I do enjoy a good hour to myself in the morning.  I like to read, journal, write in this Start Today Journaland sometimes even blog.  It’s not easy and I haven’t mastered it, but I did do it a few times, which is a few more times than I did last week!  Once this whole quarantine is over, life will resume. It will be different, but I want to be 110% ready.

4.  Just Dance.  The kids love it so much and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit Joe and I have been dancing along with them!  We may have just unlocked more songs so we can dance even more haha.  If anyone walks by our house during a dance sesh, it’d be pretty funny to watch.  Bradley kicks all of our butts. Repeatedly.— edit– 8:55 pm on Thursday night, I just beat him! LOL

5.  I’m still keeping a sense of humor amongst the heaviness.  You have to. This whole ordeal is surreal and my heart aches for all those who are suffering right now.  However, we must also find love and light in all things and some of these memes are funny.  Current fave:

Linking up with A little Bit of Everything Blog and Becky.

 

*This post contains affiliate links in which I would make a small portion. As always, thank you for supporting my blog!

That Self-Isolation Life

It hits me at weird and random moments, that are so routine and show me just how much my ‘normal’ is off.  Sitting down to meal plan, I’ve been taking a look through our pantry/freezer/fridge before this whole virus took over.  I have been following Jordan Page’s “Shelf Cooking” Facebook Group and loved the idea of not wasting food and using up what you have instead of buying too much at the grocery store. Now I do it because I don’t have a choice.   I stare at the upcoming week and immediately mentally check off each day in my mind: “Monday is Joe’s late night, Wednesday is dance…” and stop myself and realize I don’t need to plan meals around our schedule.  This is it.  We are home.

We have been home isolating since Friday March 13th.  The week prior we saw the progression in China and Italy and honestly began ‘preparing’ a little before that even.  Joe and I would run the “what if” scenarios, and slowly grabbed an extra this or that while out.  I have to thank my acupuncturist for her wise words and guidance.  If she didn’t educate me on exactly where this Covid-19 was headed, we would be in such bad spot.  (And if I chose not to listen) She gave me a random Instagram account to follow and all I can say is that it scared the crap out of me enough to get up and out of the house early Sunday March 8th.  I hit up two grocery stores spending way more than I typically do.  And then I went again on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and one more time on Thursday.  By Thursday the stores were super packed and buzzing since Trump had taken to our TV screens Wednesday night. While I would not consider myself a “hoarder” I knew that if we were to stay home and stop the spread, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house as we have no face masks! So I did what I could do.

Since Joe has Crohn’s Disease AND is on Humira (a biologic which lowers his immune system,) if he caught the Coronavirus, he would have a really hard time getting better. More than likely, he could die.  We knew it was super serious and were willing to do anything in our power to be smart, stay healthy and safe.  Joe did go into work 3/13 and mentioned to the owners his concern and sure enough Friday the 13th, he received a call to stay home and not to come in Saturday or Monday…basically work from home.  My eyes immediately filled with tears because I knew this was going to be bad.  We had already decided that morning to not send Brooke or Bradley to school, and I planned on pulling them out for however long we needed to.  The very next day the schools closed anyway, and we are all doing this ‘distance learning’ as best as we can!

I have to say while emotions are much like a roller coaster, overall I believe I’m handling this fairly well.  We are in a bit of a rhythm here all 4 of us humans and 2 dogs.  Some days we feel like rockstars, checking off completed tasks, being all-star parents and doing all the things.  We’ve been able to really dive in and work real estate since Joe was laid off and all Car sales and stopped. Other moments? We just zone out playing video games, reading, watching Hulu.  Overall my favorite part (if there can be one?) is the way we are connecting with friends and family.  We are all so busy (all the time) that we never slow down to catch up and chat with so many amazing people. Friends Joe hasn’t seen or spoken to are now part weekly check-ins.  The kids miss their schools, but seeing friends and teacher via zoom calls has been so rewarding. We’ve also had a lot of love shown from so many friends and family, offering to grab anything we need, including an incredible supply of fresh produce and meat from Joe’s good buddy Chris.  Another friend dropped a goodie bag for the kids to open—so many sweet souls lending a hand it warms my heart.

Sure I miss my Starbucks, going to and fro as I please…but more than anything we just want to stop the spread and stay healthy.  At the end of each day I thank God for that.  We do not get any takeout as this virus can live on surfaces for a very long time.  I have done one small Target Delivery last week so that my kids will have a little something special Easter morning.  We also haven’t gone anywhere since we are good with groceries and honestly there’s no reason for us to be out and about.  I think maybe a drive would be nice, but we also don’t want to waste gas money.

I’ve been working out daily, getting outside with the kids and dogs, having ‘tea parties’ after dinner and if you haven’t downloaded the app House Party, you are missing out!! Lots of fun happy hours around here.  We are not stressing over what we can’t control, but we are sharpening our saws and really putting forth the effort to help make us even better and stronger when this is all said and done.

So wherever you’re at, it’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling.  Once I “got that” I have been doing better I think.  I was feeling bad for feeling bad, since “I don’t have it as bad as someone else”–but our feelings don’t work that way.  It’s okay and you should all yourself to feel the hurt, anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness etc…and then make a plan to move on.

I have this belief that humans are going to come out of this one of two ways: I can make the most out of the situation and realize we’ll never get this time back, so use it wisely.  Drink the water, eat the healthy foods, relax and enjoy family and little pleasures.  Workout and become the best, strongest version of me that I haven’t even ever seen.  I can put the time in to study, grow with Joe in business and strengthen our marriage.

Or I can become miserable, lazy, negative, gain weight, cause emotional trauma and stress to my children, and probably drive my husband crazy (more than I already do!)

It’s our choice.  We can evolve and become great or we can fizzle out and be left behind.  This world needs us to step up and shine now more than ever.  And in a few more months? Even more so.  This is not going to be a quick fix —this is going to take awhile for things to go back to normal.

Now that I feel like we’ve gotten into a groove and the initial shock factors are over, I hope to make more time to spend here on this blog.  I have lots of recipes I’ve been trying and I hope to read lots of books! (Luckily I grabbed a small stack of books from the library before we went into quarantine!)

I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy and that you too can make use of this unexpected extra time.  And if you’re one of the heroes on the front line, I am praying and sending so much love and light to you!  Thank you to everyone who is making a positive difference during this time.

10 Tips While Being Home with Kids

First off, I will start by saying we have a unique situation when it comes to Covid-19.  My husband has Crohn’s Disease and to help manage his symptoms, he recently started taking a biologic. It seems to be helping a lot, but that said, his immune system is highly compromised. We are extremely fortunate that we can work from home, but we have self-quarantined since last Friday.  No one in, no one out.  We are hunkered down with the kids, dogs and other than walks outside we don’t plan on going anywhere. I am pretty passionate about this isolation because of  my loved ones and their compromised immune systems. For the love, people, please just stay home. The virus cannot live long on surfaces but it needs people to infect to survive. If we all just stay in, this will blow over faster…

With that said, I came up with a list of 10 ways to not go too crazy during this time of social distancing. I am remaining optimistic and hope that I can help give some light into what our days will look like.  No, it will not be all sunshine and roses. Yes I am sure we will be experiencing cabin fever and there will be way too much screen time, but I’m a type A so I have to have some sort of plan…so here goes:

  1. Take time to reflect. I probably do this too much already, but go through old photos, and really see how beautiful your life is.  Maybe they are FB photos, instagram, or hard copies.  Maybe you’ve never made photo books and now could be the time you create some on Snap Fish or Sometimes we get wrapped up in the day to day and don’t stop to reflect at how awesome life has been for us.  In 10 quick years I have gotten married, had 2 babies, raised those babies to 5 and 7 year old amazing kids.  Gotten 2 dogs, grew a business, maintained an amazing marriage…the list goes on.  None of it is without a ton of work, but when you stop and see just how far you’ve come, it should make you feel really good inside.  And if not?  Well, maybe now is the time to truly make those changes.  Take this as an opportunity to become better than you were yesterday.
  2. Cook something new.  (shelf cooking, chopped chef, include kids and husband) Okay, real talk.  We stopped eating out last week. We don’t want anyone touching anything else from last Thursday on. The one thing I am a little ehhhhhh about is cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner, for goodness knows how long here.  While I did start stocking up a few days before the herd, I still didn’t make a bunch of freezer meals or plan out a bunch of meals.  I legit started buying more of what we typically eat and now I have enough food for us for awhile, but it’s going to take some creativity here.  I am also not wasting ANYTHING.  Use those leftovers and eat what will spoil first.  From there, start pulling from your freezer and pantry.  Jordan Page is SUCH an inspiration for shelf cooking.  I’m thinking I may have a little “chopped chef” adventure and give everyone a little something and tell them create your own meal!  I dunno the details yet but I can see us using the smoker, the BBQ, the grill, the fire pit…we will have fun and get super creative.  Think, sheet pan meals, using instant pots, slow cookers, air fryers, foil packets, skewers, whatever odd kitchen gadget you’ve got, now is the time to pull it out! Have fun! And please please please share some meal ideas with me!!
  3. Read from my own library. Libby, Overdrive, Hoopla.  Granted, I had a feeling we would be going into ‘lockdown mode’ so I made sure to pick up some books at my library. If you didn’t have that chance, I bet you may have a book (or 10) laying around that you just haven’t gotten to.  Now’s your chance!  You can also check out those above e-book services, or even Audiobooks, to get your imagination up and running about something other than this virus.  Reading does wonders for your mind, body and soul.  It always takes me away and I know you will enjoy it too! Share your favorite books below!
  4. Write.  Journal, blog, start that book…for me, writing has always helped me sort my thoughts, figure out tricky emotions and really clear my headspace.  Even if you just pull out a notepad and brain dump a list of activities you’d like to do while you’re home, I bet it will make you feel a tad better.  Worried about food? Go through and write down your inventory. I bet you’ll be surprised at how much you have and what you could do with it. If you’re feeling alone, share a post on instagram, FB or even email or text someone.  You are not alone.  This is uncharted territory for all of us and it’s okay to feel whatever emotion you are feeling.  Get the feelings out of your head and onto the paper…trust me!
  5. Face-time with friends and family.  We try to make efforts with people to chat, but we all get so busy! Well, here is our chance to charge up those phones and iPads and connect! Set a “tea date” with your mom.  I actually already do that since my mother is down in SC and I am in NY, but do it with everyone.  Playdates cannot happen, but your kids will get a kick out of seeing their friends virtually.  Maybe have them play games or show off cool drawings, or forts, whatever activity has gone on.  I think there are some epic lego creations about to go down in this house.  Call your sister, your friend, the babysitter, your aunt who lives super far away.  We are all going to need some connection because we are all going through this together!
  6. Homeschool. While you don’t have to take the whole day, it seems as though most districts have provided something for our children.  You can try to utilize the colored ‘Covid Homeschool’ graphic, or totally wing it. Whatever you want, you’re in charge! I’m going to post our daily ideas on my Instagram stories. (because I like to do this kind of stuff and I love sharing!)  I have a First grader and one in Pre-K.  I know I am biased because I was a teacher and heck, I’ve been “playing school” with my little sisters for as long as I can remember.  The point is, try to break up your days with some educational fun.  Pinterest has a ton of ideas, Instagram Busy Toddler, Scholastic, I can share more if you’re interested! But really, don’t make it complicated.  Count as you’re baking, measure as you’re cooking.  Go to an online museum and talk about whatever your kid is into right now!  Simply reading to your child WILL make a world of difference.  Don’t make this hard.
  7.  Move my body.  30 minutes MINIMUM.  I am going to try to something in the morning and something in the afternoon or evening. TIU app, walks outside, BeachBody on demand, You Tube, Just Dance or even dance parties in general.  Listen, I get that being cooped up and missing things is hard. We LOVE the Ugly Disco and that was cancelled last week.  We weren’t going to go as soon as we realized how serious this Covid-19 was.  But the more I move, lift weights, feel my blood flow through my body even in a 10 minute yoga session, I just feel better. Period.  Have you seen the videos from Italy where music is blasting and people are out on their balconies dancing around? Be like them.
  8. Connect with my family.  I plan on lots of chats…dreams for our future, looking through old photos, playing board games with Joe and the kiddos.  I think we may do some “date nights in” where we feed the kids an easy dinner and we can cook up something for us while they watch tv upstairs.   I also want to have family movie nights and make the time to play all together.  If you think about it, when (other than vacations) do we get this much time to be all together?  I’m aware that my tune will change sometime into this whole ordeal, especially if we really are stuck inside for months, but still…it is really a unique opportunity.
  9. Watch movies and TV.  (escape) I don’t make the time to watch shows because we live a really busy life and I leave little room for me to get sucked into Hulu, Netflix etc.  But during this time of isolation, I think it’s best for me to allow some time away from reality.  So far I have on my radar: The Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Little Fires Everywhere, The Morning Show, Harriet Tubman and Frozen 2–I think we are the only family with little kids who hasn’t seen it yet!
  10. Be grateful and think positively.  It’s scary. It’s an uncertain time.  I am right there with your friend.  How will bills get paid if there is no job? How will we get more food if we run out? There are so many unanswered questions and at this time no one has the answers.  However we cannot fixate on the what-ifs and question all the things.  We just have to take it day by day and count our blessings. I am still writing in my “Start Today Planner” where I list 5 things I am grateful for and 10 dreams down as if they already happen. We will be okay and we will get through this.  Think about the stories we will tell our grandchildren, or even great grandchildren!

Most importantly, don’t stress during this time.  Try to make the most out of this!

Find me on Instagram JennDelleFave and let’s be there for each other!!

Wellness Wednesday: Easy Sheet Pan BLT

I have been trying out some new recipes and thought I’d share one that literally just made last night!  My good friend Ann has been doing rounds of Whole30 for over a year now and has nothing but amazing things to say.  I have yet to bite that bullet, but I am playing around with the meals and food concepts a bit, especially since I have given up Gluten and am really trying to just eat real foods.  I also like to keep things simple around here as well as versatile.

This meal was SUPER easy delicious; I only wish that I made more!  Depending how you eat/serve, it can be Paleo or Whole30.

You will need:

Bacon (ideally Whole30 approved, mine was not #oops)

Cherry tomatoes

Chicken breasts

Lettuce

Compliant mayo (I actually used Primal Kitchen Ranch)

Sheet pans

Instructions:

Pre-Heat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut bacon into small pieces, place on one sheet. (Use kitchen scissors!)

Arrange chicken and tomatoes on another – salt and pepper

Bake for 25 minutes — I watched the bacon and took some out a few minutes before the timer went off, as I don’t like it too burnt/crispy.

I ate mine over a big salad w/ the Primal Kitchen Ranch.

I actually served my kiddos this as a traditional BLT — I toasted bread, used mayo and shredded the chicken, added lettuce and tomato and of course they went nuts for bacon.  At first Bradley gave it a thumbs down, but I told him this was dinner, he was welcome to pick it a part and eat what he wanted but this was it.  A few minutes later he told me he was kidding and that he liked it—kids!  I will say he took the tomatoes out.

Joe just had his with real Ranch dressing, no salad and no toast.  I bet I could have stirred it up in a pasta and he would have enjoyed it as well!

No leftovers and no complaints = winning!

Let me know if you try it!

The original recipe can be found here. 

 

 

Family Time

I never shared some adorable photos from awhile back of us on our land.  We enjoyed bundling up, getting some fresh air and trekking through the snow! It’s hard to stay active when it’s so cold and gloomy, but we make efforts when we can to get outdoors!

This one jumped just as I was taking the photo, stepping on a stick and thus resulting in it bumping her on the head.

While we enjoyed Winter, we are certainly ready for Spring and Summer!

Gluten Free Meal Ideas

So I am a little over 2 weeks into this “Gluten Free” business.  I am not claiming that I know everything, let alone anything hah!  But I do know that I am feeling better and to me, that’s most important! I will preface by saying that I’ve had some odd digestive issues over the last few years, and I’m pretty sure that 4 years ago I did all the “allergy testing” and all that came up was bee pollen.  Fast forward, I’ve done an Endoscopy, and an ultrasound and again, nothing shows up. (Yay! and what the heck?!)

That said, I would say that I eat sort of healthy–and I always know that my body does best with a lot of veggies, greens, lean proteins and some complex carbs.  What I have noticed though was that almost immediately after eating my stomach would hurt, like a burning pain up near my ribs.  I was tired and sluggish, like absolutely no energy.  That’s why I went to my Primary Care Dr. (no help other than offering Anti-Depression meds and off the cuff mentioning maybe try  going Gluten Free) my GI Dr, who tried to help but Prevacid made me feel worse, and my amazing Acupuncturist who is the only one giving me ANY relief. She is focusing in on where my “heat” is and says it has more to do with my hormones than anything…

So while my main goal is to eat whole, real, actual foods, I am such a foodie and I LOVE cooking!  So I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been eating that doesn’t seem to bother me (or bother me too much).  So far I have noticed I have lost a few pounds, but I am not even focusing on that because I’m so focused on my GUT health and how to just feel amazing again.

Breakfast Ideas:

Soft boiled Eggs

Spinach

Hashbrowns

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Gluten Free Toast

Coconut spread

Egg Whites

Turkey Bacon

Spinach

 

Oatmeal

With flaxseed or chia seed

Add fruit (blueberries)

*However, I’m noticing if I eat oats in the morning, I feel very bloated  (super– I know, but not cool!) So I’m not sure about the oats…

I tried these pancakes out on Sunday for the kiddos and I.  We LOVED them!

Snacks:

This is the bread I got to use, if I am craving it.  It’s great toasted w/ avocado and this EBTB seasoning.

GF waffles

Almond butter

Strawberries

Chia seeds

My acupuncturist actually said to eat more soy and tofu— I think I’m Progestrone dominant? So I do!

Edamame w/ sea salt and a yummy juice.

I found this Protein at Wegmans and it’s so good you guys! It’s a serious treat. I made it just like the back of the tub says.

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Lunch:

Usually leftovers in a salad or bowl format…

Here I had leftover chicken cubed, rolled in almond flour that I baked the night before. I added asparagus, turkey bacon and some GF Coleslaw salad dressing

Dinner:

I didn’t take a picture, but this was so good!! I love Tiffany Beaston on You Tube; she is GF and even a little dairy free, so this was a great meal everyone like it!!

If I’m making a traditional pasta dish, for example, Linguine with Clam sauce, I just full out make it for Brooke and Joe. It’s great for lunch or dinner leftovers.  Bradley eats butter noodles and I made myself a GF Pasta, cooked up some Tofu and used Braggs Nutritional Yeast, lemon & broccoli. I thought it was great!

The point being, it’s a bit of a 3 ring circus in my kitchen, it does take a little extra time, but I feel great!

Extra Firm Tofu cooked in coconut oil with sea salt is so yummy!!

I did try out the Martha Stewart Baked Scallops recipe. Brooke, Joe and I liked it! I used GF bread crumbs which I actually think are sweeter and taste great. I served over regular and GF pastas.  Bradley would not try it, so he had pasta, veggies and turkey meatloaf (below.)

Giada’s turkey meatloaf is a staple here. I actually didn’t have any feta cheese, so I used Goat and Bradley still ate it! We ate it right up for lunches and dinner.

Another easy sub is rice for pasta, as rice is GF.  Also Rice noodles! I made this Thai Peanut dinner last night and made my own with Brown Rice noodles.  Delish!

February Favorites

It was full of love and that by far is my favorite!  But really, when we come from a place of love, life flows effortlessly.  When we are afraid, or stuck in fear, it can be so much more challenging.

Moving onto some drinks:

I started taking a little magnesium before bed at night for a few reasons.  I heard that it helps with any GERD/digestive issues, also my acupuncturist always tells me to have a little and this helps with sleep.  I just do 1/2 a teaspoon in a little warm water and it fizzes up, then I add cold water and drink.  I think it works!  You can grab Calm off of Amazon.

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I think I finally perfected (for now) my at home Matcha lattés.  I started pouring the Matcha powder, soy milk and stevia sweetener into my milk frother and it is SO much better! I also like to heat up my yeti mug with hot Keurig water so that it keeps my latté warm while I sip it.  It’s not Starbucks, as I am still certain they sprinkle magical unicorn dust in their Matcha Lattés, but it’s better on the wallet and lower in sugar!

I really fell back in love with some delicious green juices.  I swear I was coming down with something Thursday of last week and I just tried to stay away from processed sugars (as much much as I could) and really upped my greens.  My body craves green juice now!  We stopped into this cute Just Juice shop Friday.  My boys had a tropical smoothie which they LOVED and I had a shot of ginger and some green juices.

Clearly I’m on a bevvie kick here, but this Tea is so so good!! It stood out to me at the grocery store because one of my Start Today Journal goals is to be calm and intentional.  I just recently heard about this herb Ashwagandha and it helps with stress and staying calm.  It’s in my current vitamins below as well!

As far as my favorite read of the month, it goes to this one-You Are Not Alone: A Novel It takes a few chapters to get into it because there are so many characters, but it is worth reading until the end!

I get a lot of questions regarding my hair and I do indeed use a Purple shampoo to help keep it a whiter/lighter blond and not more golden yellow.  I find that Joico seems to be the best bang for your buck and produces the best results.  I do get my hair professionally highlighted and it’s naturally a dirty blond, so as always test it out on some of your hair first before you go and do your whole head.  PS do not leave it on for longer than 5-10 minutes or you will get purple hair.

I’m also working hard at amping up the real estate game.  Come September, I’m going to have from 8:30 until 4:00 with no kiddos! Seriously, for the first time in 7.5 years I will have no child to care for most of the days—I am excited and sad all at once, but what an opportunity for our family to really grow and prosper! I am also a tad nervous since there are so many facets to real estate, I feel like I should know everything 100% inside and out but the reality is, I have to just start. Learn. Fail. Get up. Try again. It’s all about not giving in or giving up and just doing my best every day.  So with that, if you or someone else you know is looking to sell a home in the Rochester area, let me know!  Be sure to send them to my Facebook page, Jenn Buys 585.

On the selling side of things, we finished up our Irondequoit house and the kitchen was just so darn cute! Within 6 days we had a buyer.  A lovely family moved in and this home is now filled with lots of love! Definitely a favorite that happened in February.  If you don’t already, be sure to like our page 585 Rent to Own where we love asking our followers for flipping advice!

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We had lots of fun in February, but one of my favorites was taking the kids to see Dino World Live Tour.We had a lot of fun!

I would have to say the other fantastic family moment was when Joe made unexpected reservations at one of our favorite restaurants, The Revelry.  The kids got dressed up and we all had a delicious meal!  Mama didn’t have to cook which is always a win in my book!

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And one of my favorite quotes I stumbled upon this month was this:

 

We cannot beat ourselves up for what has happened in our past, the people that have let us down or stay stuck in that negative energy that perhaps made us unhappy.  I keep telling myself that no matter what, if I do my best every day and that I love myself and honor my time, my energy, my life, everything will be okay.

This month has taught me that once again, everything does happen for a reason, and to stop trying to control things that I have zero control over.  God’s Plan is bigger than anything and sometimes you need to give him space, to do his work and he will move mountains.

Looking ahead, I keep picturing how I see Joe and I living our lives in the next few years…

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New Month Feels

Here’s a quick clip from a favorite of mine. if you’re someone who gets stuck in fear and won’t allow yourself to move forward in life because of what you believe others may think of you, try this!

Happy Sunday.

Top 3

The other day Danielle from Sparkles & Lattes posted about her Top 3s.   I thought it was super simple & fun, so I am jumping on the bandwagon!
These are my Top 3…
Three things I like about January:
I met my now husband in January 2008!
Brooke was Born.
Bradley was born.
Three things I like about February:
Valentine’s Day.
Cozy fires.
Days are getting longer!
Three vegetables I eat the most:
Spinach
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Three grocery items I buy every week:
Eggs
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Salad
Three things we go through like crazy in my house:
Bread
Carrots & hummus
Extra Cheesy Gold Fish–Bradley
Three things I always have time for:
Joe, the kids & the dogs.
Green Tea Lattes.
Cooking.
Three things I never have time for:
I don’t *make enough time for:
Reading
Writing
Dancing

Aldi’s Grocery Haul

Happy Wednesday!

I decided to record a quick little video of what I just bought at our local Aldi’s.  If you haven’t shopped at one lately, or ever, you are missing out!! I can fill my cart and feed my family (and all of our crazy dietary needs) on a budget.  In today’s haul I spent $127 and I am certain that it would have been close to $300 at our other store.

As I have shared a little, I have been having weird digestive issues and stomach pains on and off for a few months.  Back in 2016 I felt very similar to this, had the same procedures done and somehow through diet, exercise and luck? I overcame my issues and haven’t really had any problems until this past October after our trip to NOLA.

Granted, I am now 38 and in a separate blog post I’ll go into more about this, but I am considered “Perimenopausal.” I know.

So, long story short, since my Endoscopy was totally fine (some stomach irritation)—Prevacid made me worse, and then my recent Ultrasound shows NO issues whatsoever, I feel as though I’m left to my own devices to figure out how to properly fuel my body and feel better.

Hence, about a week ago I’ve been trying to go Gluten and Dairy Free.  Now, I am not allergic to Gluten nor to I have an intolerance to dairy, but the pains and gas pressure in my stomach along with feeling bloated, tired, irritable and just miserable for a bit have caused me to say enough is enough!  In this haul I share some Gluten Free finds and also some great deals on things like Cage Free Organic Eggs.

My husband has Crohn’s and obviously my kids are little, so dinners are a bit of a 3 ring circus but I’m determined to help all of us live our best lives.

Do you have an Aldi favorite? I am obsessed with some of their GF chips and crackers dipped with hummus.  I’m not a huge sweets person, but I got some to try! I’ll report back later.

Enjoy!

 

PS

In the video I mention Tiffany Beaston–here is a link for her You Tube video and the “Marry Me Chicken”.  I just love her channel!

 

 

Weekend Wrap Up & Menu for the Week

Happy Monday!

I figured I’d share a few tidbits from our February break weekend as well as my menu for the week!  I am still doing Gluten Free (for me) but I’m experimenting a little with dairy… I’ve been watching a ton of You Tube videos of other healthy ladies who have had similar digestive issues as myself, and they have found that going GF and even Dairy Free has helped them feel so much better.  I have been feeling pretty well, but not 100%.  I’m not going to give up yet and since meds haven’t helped, I am simply listening to my body and trying to give it what it needs.

We’ll start with this week’s menu, shall we?  All recipes are linked!

Sheet Pan Beef & Broccoli

Shrimp Scampi (Instant Pot)

Baked Scallops

Veggie Quinoa Soup  (Slow Cooker)

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili

I saw Jordan Page post this recipe and I may try it for the kiddos.  Sometimes we have lots of fruit going quickly, so it maybe nice to Some of those may end up being lunches or just food for me, as Joe’s diet is low fiber and lots of carbs.  I’m getting used to the 3 ring circus that is dinner some nights.  I don’t expect my family to eat no gluten, and on pasta nights, I can either sub zucchini noodles (zoodles) or GF pasta or rice. Simple!  I am not one to give up carbs totally, so I’m trying to take on this GF thing as something new and exciting…rather than omg it’s so hard and more work.  Being pain free to me is 100% worth it!

As always, if need be there’s always these as back up options:

Taco Night (I use ground beef, turkey, or chicken and taco seasoning. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, rice, beans, tortilla shells.) It’s a fam fave.

Breakfast for dinner (usually waffles, pancakes or eggs)

Leftovers

Ok moving on to some randoms from the weekend!

I just LOVE this green juice.  It has a whole bunch of goodness in it and my body actually craves it.

Friday the boys got hair cuts and look so cute!

After that we hit up the Outlet Mall for some new clothes for Joe.  Mama may have scored a few things too!  This CK hoodie was on sale for $14.99. I LOVE the neon!

Miss Brooke insisted that we stop at Justice and she picked out a few things as well.  I already miss that she’s back in school full time.  She’s growing up so fast!

Saturday night was low key; Joe built us a fire and Holly snuggled near it.

These two pretended to like each other for a few minutes…

Sunday brought more sunshine and I felt the need to purge all the things.  While doing so, I watched this documentary on Netflix.  The power of our minds and how to heal our bodies.  It all fascinates me and I do believe in the power of our thoughts. Have you seen it?

Look at it still being LIGHT outside during dinner Sunday night!!  (Smoked/Grilled Wings for the win!!)

I gotta say I was awesome at my workouts last week! I made it to the gym 4x with the kiddos.  Saturday I did the bike and triceps/biceps.

I also baked my babies some chocolate chip cookies! I used the back of the Wegmans brand chocolate chips recipe. 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes had these babies crisping up! I took some out around the 8 minute mark so they’d be chewy for Joe. I had a tiny nibble, but don’t want to upset my stomach so I refrained.  Any good GF sweet treats you could share?

I also got to chat with my mom a little bit.  She just launched a blog for her Life Coaching business!  Check it out.

Mom’s Blog!

I hope all of you have a great week.  Remember: start before you are ready and that DONE is better than PERFECT.

Five on Friday!

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TGIF!! Man I miss those silly shows from when I was a kid!  Full House was much jam— I wanted to be DJ Tanner. 
Anyway, on today’s agenda:  Fast until my ultrasound.  I’ve still been dealing with digestive issues and in my gut (pun intended) I don’t think I have “GERD.” I have been really watching what I eat, writing down how I feel after and I’ve made some changes.  I’ve noticed fatty/fried foods really bother me (eggs, bacon, ham, etc) so I’ve cut those out.  I’ve gone a bit plant based, no/low fat dairy, and gluten free this week.  I feel better than I have in weeks, so I’m gonna keep at this, while getting my insides checked out.  Both my mom and grandma had their gallbladders removed, and while I’ve never had an “attack” bad enough where I’ve been in the hospital, I’d like to be safe than sorry.  I went off Prevacid (as I don’t think I have an acid problem and I felt AWFUL on that medicine last week.)  I never know who reads this little blog, but maybe you’re experiencing issues, or have, and for that I share.  Last week a friend reached out and told me her doc said it was reflux, but it turns out she had her gallbladder removed and has felt so much better.  Lesson: advocate for your body, and figure it out no matter what!
Ok moving on to the fun things like this:
1. Skinnytaste homemade EASY bagels!My friend Alison brought her kids over yesterday and these delicious *gluten free bagels!  I went with this vegan cream cheese and it did not disappoint!! These were such a treat. I will be attempting them in the future! I’d eat one now, but-fasting.

2.  I’m looking for a vanity mirror for the bathroom at our current rehab.  Shelf or no shelf?  Both are on Amazon. 

 

 

 

Or 
3. These hot little Vince Camuto shoes were $35 on sale! I know it’s 17 degrees and there’s snow on the ground, but these give me hope that soon it won’t be so frigid! They are the perfect height and I think they’ll go well with leggings, skinny jeans, skirts, dresses…fun shorts, you name it! Hurry up Spring/Summer!  I saw Jena Green with them on the gram and had to have them.  She suggested to size down, and I agree. I’m normally a 9, but 8.5 was perfect.
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4.  I’m currently reading these two books.  One for fun, one for leadership.  I have only gotten a few pages into them, so I can’t say much!

 

5.  Life has a funny way of just throwing TOTALLY unexpected curveballs atcha.  I am a planner. I am an 8.  I am someone who likes to be in control, know things, have an outline, a goal mapped out.  But sometimes the universe, God and everything else conspires for a greater good.  I have no idea what is literally happening tomorrow it seems, but I trust and lay my faith down that everything will work out as it’s supposed to. I don’t meant to “vague-blog” but I just can’t say much because, well I don’t know much.  I believe great things are going to happen.  I am working on leaning into an abundance mindset and I just know that I am so grateful for my children, my husband, my current home, and our health.  With our love, all things are possible.

 

 

Make today utterly fabulous!! 

 

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Life Lately

Happy Hump Day!!

I miss the keyboard…so hello!  Some randoms from last week/end.

Last Thursday we took the kids to see Dino World Live Tour.  It was pretty awesome.  It was part of their birthday gift and Bradley was totally in his element.  He could ROAR as loud as he could and so did all the other crazy kiddos in the theater.

I knew the kids would have a snow day Friday, as the weather turned bad quickly.

Luckily our trustee sitter was free to take them both, since I had an Endoscopy scheduled.  I took a glamour shot for ya!  All is well, for the most part.  My esophagus is fine, (yay!) but my stomach is inflamed and irritated so the Doc gave me Prevacid to take before breakfast and dinner. I’m not loving it, but I’m going to actually try taking it for the month to see if my GERD symptoms improve.  I don’t eat spicy foods, coffee, no alcohol, I’m watching every thing going into my mouth….not fun BUT I am alive and mostly healthy!

After fasting from 9:30 pm (no water either!!) until 3pm I was ready for some food!! We grabbed some sushi and as much as I wanted some spicy tuna, hubby talked me out of it since that would be a terrible idea after what I just went through, on top of having an inflamed belly.

Joe had the weekend off–woop! So we did breakfast Saturday morning.  These two hams are something else I tell ya!

After that I took them to a birthday party and Joe did some real estate work.

I started looking through my old blog “Bliss to Bean,” any of you remember her??  And I stumbled on this post from February of 2016:

How crazy is that?? I basically flipped two homes in the last few months and have been really studying a lot more of the real estate business, so that when baby boy is in Kinder full day, mama will not be bored!!  It reminded me of the Demi Lavoto putting her tweet out there saying she would sing the national anthem at the super bowl one day….The universe has your back!! Our words and actions matter.  What do you want?!

I want to give these a try — (the whole Acid Watcher Diet is so boring, but hopefully helping!)

 

And my girl crush/bestie Christina (from above) partnered up with Cara and they’re launching a cook book soon!  These sound yummy!

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And this is something I am dying to make and serve over cauli mash.

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Other than reading a bunch of books (blog post coming!!) and binging on Christina on the Coast, and dealing with some internet Trolls, life is pretty much normal around here!!

Hope you have a fabulous day!

Wordless Wednesday

5 on Friday

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1. This week mostly flew by!  What started off on such a sad note, {The passing of Kobe Bryant & his daughter} really propelled me into being super productive and not just busy.  I was able to finish cleaning/semi-staging our East Irondequoit house and we’ve been showing it.  It is such an adorable home, it won’t be empty long!  I had so much fun designing it, I cannot wait to do more!  I love the way this kitchen turned out.  I didn’t love cleaning the toilet, but hey, as Grant Cardone said in one of his videos, some days you just have to eat sh*t.  It’s not all sunshine and roses all the time. In this case, it was sticking my arms in a toilet that I don’t think has ever been cleaned, but it’s sparkling now!  Quite humbling. It’s funny how most people watch these HGTV shows and think flipping homes is a “glamorous job” but I can assure you, that is not an adjective I would use to describe!

2.  I’ve been using my Rachel Hollis Priority Planner every day/week and I am loving it.  I may do a whole post on it, but I wanted to use it a bit longer to really give some great feedback.  However, I had to share that sis has it going on with some of her ideas! She has us pick a “motivating song of the week” each week to help pump us up and achieve our goals.  I stumbled upon this song and it’s been so empowering when I have to go do something I may not want to do, but I know that I need to so that I can get to that next level! Plus it’s a super fun dance beat.  The only bad thing is she is married to Russel Wilson and, well, that’s not cool when you’re a 49ers fan.

3.  I have been making efforts daily to move my body for 30 minutes–no matter what!  I hurt my foot wearing crappy shoes cleaning the property on Monday, so it was painful to even walk.  Luckily I tried out this contraption and found that not only did I burn calories and work up a sweat, I also was able to work on our social media accounts much easier than when I’m walking on a treadmill! My gym membership is up at the end of February and I’ll be doing more at home workouts, but for now I still try to sneak in when I can. I did a lot of cardio this week.

Monday -Ran on the treadmill. Tuesday-This bike thing. Wednesday- bike thing. Thursday-Yoga (my arms and core are sore!)  Friday- I’m hoping to walk the dogs.

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4.  My acupuncturist has a farm and gifted us the most amazing eggs! How pretty are they?! They taste even better.  She is just the sweetest and honestly helps make so many people feel better by doing what she does.  The eggs are such an added bonus. Thank you T, we love them! I’ve been really watching what I eat, mostly following Dr. Aviv’s Acid Watcher Diet, since my GERD is really acting up.  It’s basically eating real whole foods, lots of fruits, veggies, low acid, no spicy trigger foods etc.  I think it’s helping, but it’s not easy! I love carbs but they truly don’t love me.  I find that when I eat white starchy (absolutely delicious foods) I feel the burn and am super uncomfortable.  I want and need to feel my absolute best, so I am finding it imperative to get my eating in check.  Small frequent meals seem to also do best with my gut.  I have an endoscopy scheduled next week to check and see what my esophagus/stomach looks like and my GI Dr said we’ll go from there with what meds may help.  I miss the sunshine and warm weather, and really feel like Vitamin D helps solve all the problems! Summer please hurry.

5.  It’s been cold, as in the teens–high of 25 degrees, so we’ve been a bit more housebound than I like.   These two are the best of buds and though they (mostly the dog) drive me crazy, moments like this stop me in my tracks.  It’s a bit tricky working from home and still managing the house plus having Bradley home most of the time.  I really try to limit technology, but when we are stuck inside a lot, he gets a little extra time to snuggle with Bailey and play his games.  Bailey just turned 2 so she’s still a puppy, but oh man she’s still a handful!  Right after this sweet and innocent photo, she ran up to our bathroom and started eating the garbage.  Fun times!

Other than our boys playing in the Super Bowl— GO NINERS!– we don’t have much planned, which is nice.  It’s been 7 years since the 49ers played in the Super Bowl and 25 years since they’ve won it!  We are all a little excited over here as game day approaches. I’m trying to figure out what food to cook for Game Day! Any suggestions?

My Babies

I’ve had this sitting in my “drafts” section of my posts and just wanted to spread some love on this Thursday.  Those two cartoon graphics may symbolize the party we threw for my little monkeys earlier this month.  I snapped a few photos of them on a warmer day here in the ROC back during Winter break.  I believe it was right before the new year and it was by no means hot — we are talking 45 degrees being “warm” for our Winter.

I just loved seeing them climb and play since it’s mostly a frozen tundra and quite honestly I do not love the cold…but I do do try so hard to get us out and about when we can!

They can both climb high now, barely needing me for much other than knowing I’m there if they think they may fall.  Letting go and watching them grow is so much harder than I thought it would be!

And yet at the same time, seeing them turn into such beautiful human beings is even more rewarding than I ever could have dreamed.  It is a true joy to be their mother and I could not think of a better place to be, when I am with them.

I’m so grateful for healthy, happy and thriving children.  I could not ask for more than that.  They are amazing, and as their mom I know that may sound like bragging, but really I feel so blessed.  They have their sibling moments, but more often than not, they are truly best friends.  My favorite is seeing them cuddled together on the couch or quietly playing a game.  I’ve said before how Joe didn’t have a sister and I didn’t have a brother growing up, so this brother/sister bond just stops us in our tracks as we watch our babies grow.

We will keep teaching them to reach for the stars, to go after their dreams and that anything and everything is possible.  You just can’t quit.

Forever my babies they’ll be.