5 on Friday

  1. I have been really making efforts to eat more mindfully, intuitively, whatever you want to call it!! I also am really making sure I eat all the greens!  Have you tried Panera Bread’s Green Goddess salad?? It’s so good. I don’t get it often but I do dream about it and my neighbor has a copycat recipe she swears by!  I need to get that.

2.  I finished this book last week.  I had a lot of takeaways from it!  I loved starting my day with a chapter, or even just a few pages.  Lots of nuggets that stuck with me— he is very inspirational, shares lots of stories, and while the real estate investing tips are great, it’s not just about that.  His advice can apply to many occupations, parenting and being your best self overall.

3.  I have my cookie party coming up and I want to make this adorable platter!

4.  I cannot get enough of these two and their adorable holiday photo shoot.  My hearts!

5.  It’s about to get REAL messy in my kitchen and I am pretty darn excited for it.  ‘Tis the season!!  The recipes we like to do are these pretzel hugs,7 Layer Magic Cookie Bar,Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies in Chocolate, and of course good old fashion sugar cookies.

 

What’s on your agenda this holiday weekend?

Holiday Cards 2019

It’s the first week of December and that means Christmas is just a few weeks away!  I am making so many efforts this season to slow down and savor.  I want to make sure that the holidays are magical and beautiful for my family, but also for myself as well.  We can easily get wrapped up in all of the holiday stress, but it’s so important to set aside time for time honored traditions and allow ourselves to experience the joy of the season.

I know the hustle and bustle will be there, but gosh, it all just goes by so fast! Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.  The warm ember from a burning fireplace, the smell of sugar cookies baking in a busy kitchen, twinkling lights on a pine tree, the silver and gold sparkling everywhere, the slow melody of peaceful Christmas songs, and sending Christmas cards are some of my most cherished memories.  I always loved seeing all of the beautiful cards lining the doorway of our home, from friends and family.

I am teaming up with Basic Invite today to bring you some gorgeous holiday card options!  I am personally loving both of the vintage holiday cards and the retro Christmas cards. We are all so very busy, so their site is extremely simple and easy to navigate.  I was able to pull it up on my mobile device and create a stunning Christmas Card in seconds right on my mobile device.

 

SO many colors!! Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. They have over 180 colors to choose from, which sets them apart from all of the other cart retailers online!  You can create your card and make it 100% your very own, by simple touches.

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Not sure if you’ll love it?  The neat thing about Basic Invite is that you can simply order a sample card before you order all of your holiday cards.  This way, you won’t receive 30 cards that you don’t absolutely love, you’ll know for sure that it’s perfect for you!

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Lots of colored envelopes! They offer over 40 different colors to choose from and all of them are peel and seal, which we all know is a major time saver for us busy ladies.

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They even offer fancy Foil cards! These come in gold, silver, and rose gold. Gorgeous!

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Need some more Christmas Card inspiration?  Feel free to follow Basic invite on all of their social media sites, via @basicinvite

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

Twitter

Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51  so be sure to check them out and share a beautiful photo of your family, pets, little ones or just a stunning photograph from your 2019 year.

Let me know in the comments your favorite Christmas tradition!

Weekending

I figured I would back it up to last week–holidays make me get my days ALL confused!  Joe was super busy working and I was super busy working, so we were SUPER excited to get out on an impromptu date night Wednesday night.  I brought the kids to my dad and step-mom’s, and thought Joe would have to work late, but we were pleasantly surprised when he was finished in time for a dinner date!  We went to a local restaurant and dined on delicious fish meals, shared oysters & bacon wrapped shrimp.

Thursday we were going to go hunting, I had all my clothes ready to go washed in the “dirt soap”!  However, mother nature was not playing.  It was really windy and pouring at 5am when we would be gettin ready to go. So we had a rather chill morning. I had time to do hair and makeup uninterrupted! I even had the Macy’s Day Parade on…it was nice to not have to rush and get everyone ready and take my time.

We drove to my dad’s and were more than ready to see everyone!

The turkey was on point!  They brined it over night and it was just perfect.  I think it rang in around 19/20 lbs?!

We enjoyed all the sides, pies, drinks and things.  We were all in bed by 9 pm, which seems to be fairly normal around here.  #IamOld.

Friday I checked in here and there on some Black Friday deals, but I had ZERO desire to go out and fight crowds.  I did however have this insane urge to clean and purge all the things!! It would start in one room and then take me to another–I have bags and boxes to donate (toys from when they were wee babes!) and the play room is cleaned for our upcoming cookie party.  The kids also helped vacuum and wash the windows.  They wanted to to decorate but I wouldn’t let us until we cleaned and took care of our current situation.

Saturday we cleaned some more!  Laundry, tidying and organizing, along with a huge grocery shop, by the afternoon we were ready to hang up some holiday decor.  For dinner I made Chicken French for the very first time! (It’s one of my favorite meals!) I have been intimidated by it, not sure why, but our sitter Keegan made this before for us after returning home from a trip.  Her recipe was simple and not complex whatsoever. It was delish! I even did some artichoke hearts as well.  Kids love their butter noodles.

Sunday Joe’s alarm went off at 4:30 to go hunting.  I decided to stay up after making him breakfast and work on the blog.

After hunting, we shopped for our tree!

The weather was ice/rain/snow and we were grateful to grab a tree and go!

Getting a tree has always been one of my favorite traditions, even when I was a kid.  If it snowed on the day we were getting our tree, I always loved it just a little more!  It was a perfect day for it.

After watching the 49ers vs the Ravens Game (still not talking about it) I decided to start some holiday baking!

Joe wanted to make his famous Roast Beef (I call it that, not him haha!) and who am I to deny my man to cook for me? It came out just delicious and we had that with some steamed broccoli and I threw some biscuits in for the kids & Joe.

Somehow we still managed to decorate the entire tree before 8pm. The kids really had fun (mostly Brooke) hanging the ornaments.  Bradley loves just staring at it and dancing/running around of course.

And that takes us to Sunday night where I’m currently sitting by the fire, typing this here blog post.  I am excited for a busy and fun week ahead!

How was your weekend?

Happy December!

It’s only December 1st and we put our tree up today!  I saw this adorable graphic showcasing some of the fun activities to do this time of year.  I won’t be checking off every item on this, but I thought it was a great way to slow down and remember some ways to ENJOY and HAVE FUN instead of being all crazy stressed out.

The kids and I have been dancing and singing to Christmas songs for a few days now!  Usually after their cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows! At 4 & 6, they are seriously at the best ages for getting into the spirit and magic of Christmas.  We host a cookie party every year, so that will be coming up soon! Let me know if you’d like some cookie recipes on the blog.

We won’t be seeing the Rockettes this year, but I do want to take the kids some day.  I have never seen It’s a Wonderful Life—how terrible is that?? I’m currently relaxing by the fire while typing this little post.   I just saw that leave cookies for Santa is on there twice—I would probably add/change that we always leave carrots for the reindeer…and they always leave a mess!  The kids still talk about it.

We also love our Elf on the Shelf Buddy, and I enjoy being creative with that.  (Set your alarm on your phone “Move the E” or code words if your kid can read!)  We also love to read holiday books and I make really big efforts to keep the TV off, music on and let the kids just be.  I don’t them to get stressed any more than the daily demands that are already placed on them.

I teared up at dinner last night because it’s all just going by so fast.  It does not seem like 7 years ago I was anxiously awaiting my first born, with a big ole’ pregnant belly and super sore hips.  The babies have turned into toddlers, and preschoolers.  We have an almost second grader and almost Kindergartener.  I still can’t let that sink in…

Life is so beautiful, just be sure to press pause and simmer in the sweet spaces in between ‘being busy.’

These memories will mean so much, to all of us. Enjoy making them!

Happy Monday!

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Need I say more?!

5 For Friday

1. I finally tried this #felciacombo this week!  This girl has some great recipes and you can find her on YouTube and Instagram. She’s lost a lot of weight using the WW program and shares her meals (which are super simple and quite filling, while being tasty!)

The main components are 1 cup or so of hash browns (spray some PAM and cook them, stirring/flipping for about 10 minutes on medium heat until they are a little brown).

2 Eggs over easy/fried.

2 slices of turkey bacon. I use this, though it pains me to spend $7, it’s 10 seconds in the microwave and done!

1/4 cup of low fat cottage cheese (Sounds weird, and I don’t love cottage cheese alone, so trust this!)

It’s so good and you just mix it all up—I am FULL all morning.  (I also have been adding a handful of spinach because I love my greens!)

2. This meme is my life.  I always feel so crazy looking waiting for Brooke’s bus to come or dropping off Bradley to preschool.  As soon as I get my workout in though, I shower and ta-da!! Haha how many of you mamas can relate?!

3.  Date afternoon/night!  We had dinner plans with friends, but we have to reschedule, so we still took the time and actually got a nice dent in some Christmas shopping done!  I enjoyed a glass of Cab while getting ready.

Yes, my sweet husband is rocking a mustache on our date.  He thinks he’s funny.  Okay, so do I!  He had a full beard but decided to just roll with this for a bit…

4.  Everyone seems to be getting sick—stuffy/runny noses and a yucky cough!  I have been running the diffusers like crazy (Thieves/On Guard essential oils) taking probiotics (daily anyways) watching the sugar in take, resting when possible and swearing by these!! They really seem to help.

5.  If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know my love for style and fashion.  I was a Stella & Dot Stylist for a bit, but with our real estate business really taking off, I just didn’t have the time to devote.  Anyway, with holidays near, I decided have a stylist friend create a shopping link so anyone can shop!  With Dot Dollars (Hello, free money/jewels!) and Christmas gifts to buy, it was a no brainer!

Meal Plan/Prep Monday (low carb-ish!)

Happy Monday! It’s a brand new week! How cute is this heart graphic? My daughter Brooke loves playing around with different apps and I totally thought it was perfect for today’s blog!

I decided to continue with my “Shelf Cooking” as I am trying to truly utilize all of the items in my pantry, refrigerator, freezer etc.  I hate wasting food and if I don’t take the time to “Shop my house” I easily get caught up in the idea of needing to buy more.  I am on a roll with it!  This time instead of cooking for everyone else, I focused on moi.  I do best with a lower carb (Not ZERO carbs!) diet.  I find that when I fill up on veggies/greens, fruits, lean proteins and complex carbs I feel my best.

Sunday I took some time and went through and took inventory and then just went to work.  That’s the hardest part, right?  I find that I can plan, but it’s the actual PREP work that I may not totally get to.  Most of these will be for lunches/snacks.

Roasted Carrots:

Easy starter: Open that veggie drawer.  C’mon. We all have something sitting there just a little too long!  For me it was a bunch of carrots.  I just peeled and chopped them up, drizzled some EVOO and some seasoned salt, baked at 375 for about 45 minutes or so.  Now I have a salad topper OR easy side for any meal.

Banana Almond Flour Muffins:

These were actually a pretty big hit.  The hint of cinnamon got everyone’s nose interested! Brooke & Joe liked them, and I am excited to enjoy one with my tea or when I get a sweet tooth craving.  Low in carb, high in fat FYI.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole With Cauli Rice 

I adapted the recipe from here, but I didn’t have my coconut cream sorted, I am not on whole 30 and I didn’t have the fancy mayo (I used Kraft olive oil).  When it comes to my health, I try to be aware, but I have loosened up a bit as I am tired of spending ALL THE MONEY ON FOOD. But for real, I think it’s good to make smart healthy choices, but sometimes you just can’t spend $1000 for food in one month.

2 chicken breasts shredded (I dropped mine in a slow cooker for 2 hours w/ some broth then used my forks to shred)

1 package of frozen Cauliflower Rice

3/4 bottle of Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup of Hot sauce (I used Tastefully Simple’s as it never bothers me!)

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1/2 cup mayo

It’s not pretty, but it’s tasty!!

Shakeology Energy Bars/Bites

I have some leftover Shakeology packets and now that it’s cold, I’m not loving cold shakes!

Recipe:
1/2 cup of organic oats
1 packet of Shakeology
2 tbl almond butter (or pb)
1 tbl coconut oil
a few dried cranberries tossed in

Simple:
Melt pb & oil in pan, stir in everything and roll into balls and chill!
*I didn’t feel like getting my fingers sticky and rolling these, so I just poured the batter into a bowl with parchment paper.  I’ll cut/divide once it’s cooled.

I also have a ton of shredded pork tenderloin, so I plan on using some of these awesome recipes to help get us through the week!

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Monday- Cubans (leftover pork using link above) *wrap in lettuce if not wanting carbs

Tuesday- Chicken Alfredo (w/ Spaghetti Squash for me, pasta kids)

Wednesday- Better than Takeout Chicken Fried Rice

Thursday- Date Night (kids Dino Nuggets/Mac & Cheese)

Friday – Bacon Pasta (use a different pasta if looking for lower carb?)

Weekend – Venison Roast, Fish, Takeout — I’m already craving sushi!

 

Did you do any meal prepping this weekend?

Hello; A catch-up Blog

Well hello!!

I would title this “Tea with Me” but it doesn’t feel right since I am not currently drinking any tea.  I’m chugging that water though! We’ve had a great time since the last time I blogged. #oops

We’ve been busy! I’m a moody creator and sometimes I just don’t have those creative juices flowing, or I get annoyed that I cannot control who can read my blog.  I know that when you post your words on the WOLRD WIDE WEB anyone can read, however I find that sometimes my words are used against me and that just plain sucks. (To be honest.) But I cannot control others and inevitably, I find my fingers back to these keys. There is so much joy in looking back at our adventures and as always, hope to inspire other people in some way, shape or form.

First off, Joe had his yearly stay-cation.  He and I had a date day and a work day, so we got a lot done! He also spent time in the woods with his only hobby, hunting. I got up with him so he could get out early.  No big buck yet, but I’m sure he’ll get something soon.  We also took the kids to a movie and saw The Addams Family and went out to eat one night.  — again, no photos! #badblogger

Our work day did include a small helper.

I was trying to get him to smile–we were at one of our properties.

We also took that time to stack all the wood! It’s so nice to have it all ready to go for our fires.

In important news—RED cups are back!  After dropping Brooke off at a “Books & Breakfast” at her school, I figured I’d just go and see if I could score a free reusable cup.  I did get a holiday drink. I tried the Chestnut Praline–super sweet, but very tasty! Usually I don’t drink and coffee because it bothers my reflux, but I just had one and sipped it through the day.  I didn’t die! I did however have a huge caffeine rush since I never drink that.  I used my free rewards and felt like I won the lotto basically.

It got super cold, super quick so I had to take a photo documenting a cute fuzz ball hat.

My mom flew in later that day for the weekend and it was so nice! She flew in with the snow flying, a lovely greeting coming from South Carolina.  We built a lot of fires to stay cozy and warm, as it has been a super cold November so far! (I knew Joe would be an icicle from hunting so I tried to have one going so he could thaw out.)

Friday we went to Panera for lunch and my sister joined us!  It was a great day and we had a ball.

This little turkey had all of us cracking up.  Seriously, I love this age.

He picked out some pretty Fall flowers to have.  Mom made us all dinner Friday night, which was a family favorite growing up: Chicken and Dumplings.  I didn’t take enough photos, but I was really present and in the moment and that is what matters most.

We took mom, my sister, the kids and my niece out to dinner Saturday night.  We LOVE The Revelry and since my mom lives outside of Charleston, SC I wanted to take her here! The oysters are so good.

So good, the girls LOVED them!

We got to sit at the fun round table and it was a wonderful time.   Their burgers are my favorite!

I finally took the Ennegram Quiz everyone talks about on Instagram.  Turns out, I’m an 8.

Monday brought Veteran’s Day and the kiddos had no school, and we got SO much snow.

The snow makes me get giddy about the holidays!  I am a firm #teamturkeyfirst and I won’t decorate until after Thanksgiving, then it’s GAME ON!  I did however order this adorable PDF file from Kelle Hampton, Once Upon A Holiday.  She has all of her favorite recipes, bucket list, things to enjoy during the holidays.  She is such a true inspiration to remember to slow down and savor life.  It’s $12 but with her code:  HOLIDAYEARLYBIRD   you can get the file for $9 until it launches 11/15.

 

I finished another book!! This was so good for my soul.  I found it to speak to me on so many levels! She talked a lot about how we need to be creative, but so often we punish ourselves and take away all of the fun.  In order to be a great writer, you don’t have to be miserable or have a tragic life, you just need to tap into your ideas and do the darn thing!  She told stories of how the “big magic” can transfer to others…meaning, if you get an idea for something, run with it and do something with it or else it will leave you and someone else will get the idea and go.  I listened to it for free on the Libby app, but I have had the hard copy for years–now I can go back and re-read parts that really hit me.

Random, but as I put back together the office (it became our guest room for my mom, as we don’t have extra bedrooms) I put things back in their place and this framed photo from my wedding day stopped me.  It was truly the happiest day of my life and the way he looked at me, the way he still looks at me, makes my heart so full.  I know we are all busy, but in moments like that I try to pause time and I even sent him a text message telling him so.  Life does not have to be so hurried and so rushed.  Sure it’s crazy and chaotic, but you can slow it down for a moment or so…and breathe.

Like taking the perfect photograph on helper day at Preschool.  Moments don’t last, but memories do.  He just sang about his blue feather, that he proudly placed on that turkey.

Speaking of Preschool, why are the crafts so darn cute?!

Currently finishing up this listen–it just came out and it’s so worth the read!  Perfect timing Emily Ley…well done.  It helps that my word for 2019 was “simplify” and as the end of the year nears, I think I have done a decent job of leaning into that word more and more.

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Wednesday Quote Dump

I figured I would share some of the memes/quotes taking up storage on my phone. Enjoy!

Share yours with me!

Feel Good

I recently listened to Gabby’s latest book Super Attractor and it was fantastic.  I took this quote from it and it truly resonated with me.  I think sometimes as grown ups, we forget how to have fun, enjoy ourselves and allow ourselves to feel good.  As mamas, we often take care of everyone and everything else before we think about ourselves.  It’s so important that we remember!

 

For me, it was one of THE BIGGEST triggers or “bullet holes” I discovered when working with my life coach.  What was?  Oh, you know, allowing myself to feel good, or have fun, just for the heck of it.  For some reason I create boundaries for myself (I’m still working on it) where I don’t really ‘let loose’ or ‘have fun’ unless others are having fun.  Or my work is all done.  I have gotten a lot better at letting the ‘guilt’ go and really just focusing on ME at the present time.  I really do best when I get a workout in daily, write daily, and take time in the morning to reflect on my goals and dreams, as well as sit in quiet.  I journal, spend time looking through devotionals or other inspiring reads. It really helps set my mind right.

What I am learning is that the universe attracts more of what you put out. I’ve always loved the quote, “what you think about, you bring about.” But it’s so true.  The more you feel good, that good energy, happy vibe, the more you will attract.  If you’re stuck in a sad, lonely, victim mentality–that everyone is out to get you, you’ll simply attract more of that.  There’s a always a way out, and it’s to focus on yourself.  Do baby steps.  Cook a favorite recipe.  Go on a walk by yourself.  Journal.  Figure out what would start those feelings of enjoyment, happiness and ultimately live into that.  It will become your life.

I distinctly remember a wine tour my then boyfriend, now husband I and went on.  I was so worried and uptight over everyone else enjoying themselves, that honestly I was not having a good time!  I’ve done this a lot throughout my life.  Part of it is yes, I am a control freak (working on it) and also very in tune with others’ around me and their emotions.  (Hello, Empathy is my #1 strength.)  Over time I am learning that my happiness has nothing to do with other people and it’s okay for me to feel good, even if others around me don’t, can’t or won’t.  It is hard to watched loved ones and friends stew in their own misery, but Joe and I both work very hard at creating a calm, peaceful, happy and joyful life in our home.  Sometimes it’s best to just focus on yourself, and pray that others will find ways to feel good too.

What do you do for yourself to feel good?

Weekend Vibes

It was nice that Brooke had Friday off, even though I didn’t realize it until a few days prior! Haha.  #momlife  Which later that day I saw this meme and it was perfect because I seriously thought I was on top of my game!!  Luckily my neighbor Katie kept me up to speed.

 

After we dropped Bradley off at Preschool she wanted to have a girls’ day.  We hit up Starbucks and then headed over to Target for some birthday gifts, as she has a few parties to attend in the next few weeks.

She brought her doll and set her up like this and I about died when I came over and saw her sitting like this.

Brooke’s favorite treat at Starbs:  Kiddie Hot Cocoa and the confetti sugar cookie.  Nice choice girlfriend!!

Saturday morning was such a gorgeous sunrise!! The pinks and purple mixed with the orange glow were simply stunning!

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We had out last day of gymnastics, which was fun and a little sad!  It’s about an hour drive and we would usually go visit my dad and step-mom after their session, but with the impending Winter weather, it is not a commitment I want to make.  I hate driving in the snow, so I’d rather wait it out until Spring or Summer.

My sister asked if we wanted a babysitter Saturday night, so of course we said yes!! It was a little chilly so I did a basic grey bell sleeved sweater with my favorite pair of jeans from American Eagle.  They fit like a glove!

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We went to Village Gate in downtown Rochester and hit up the restaurant Lento.  They serve everything fresh, the menu changes daily and it’s all locally sourced.  It’s in a funky building with lots of crazy art pieces. He wanted me to take a picture of this fish.  Speaking of fish, we had some amazing Oysters and I had the BEST Salmon dinner with roasted brussels and bacon and apple. I can’t stop thinking about it! I also had some to die for brie and goat cheese….yum!

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Joe loved this mural and it looks like some of the “amazing art” we have hanging in our room.  Our artistic preferences may differ slightly…

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Sunday I spent some time talking with the contractor and checking out shower tile ideas for the house that burned down.  We like the bigger tiles, like this look minus the extra small tiling. I want to keep it simple and clean looking.

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Photo Via Pinterest

 

Sunday we had our neighbor’s birthday party at a YMCA.

The kids played in the jungle gym and swam in the pool.

Well, all but one did.

SO hard to get a still shot! I love that Bradley is covered in vanilla cake frosting.

Brooke picked out her presents all by herself…

Lily turned 9 and yes, our daughter who’s 6 is taller than her. They wear the same size! They are so sweet together and we are very grateful to have good neighbor friends.

I finished this book and it was full of good gems! I’ll share a few later on.

I had “the house shut down” (Joe makes fun of me, but seriously, I say this all the time! I think because my mom used to!) by 8pm and I think I was asleep before the Patriots game, it may have just started. I got up to use the bathroom, and I had taken a Nyquil a little earlier so I could sleep well and try to get this cold/allergy whatever out of my system and when I stood up I had this feeling/flash/premonition and I told Joe, “The Ravens win.”  When we got up this morning, he said hey, by the way you’re right! I’m a tad freaked out by this but find it cool as well.  I felt like I was in that state of semi-consciousness and half awake, which I bet if I meditated on a regular basis I could tap into more.  I may have lost you at this point, but yes, I do believe in psychic ability and a little voo doo.  Joe says if I hone in my skills he’ll start betting. Hahaha!

 

Happy Monday friends!

Day of Rest?

Working for yourself is the best and craziest thing ever at times.  I love the flexibility of it, but if I am being totally honest, I struggle with time management.  When I was a teacher, my day was scheduled for me.  I ate when it was “lunch time.” I started class when the bell rang, and then ended when it rang again.  Every 42 minutes (or 85 in the HS block schedule) I knew exactly which students would walk into my classroom and exactly what we’d be doing that day.

Enter motherhood and all ‘scheduling’ went right out the window!! Baby’s dictated everything and as soon as we seemed to settle into a nice routine, a leap or growth spurt would happen and it all went to heck.  I survived it, like all mothers do, and really just became adapt at ‘bobbing and weaving’ as my husband so lovingly calls it.

Now that I have one child in full time school and one in 3 half day pre-school classes, and a real estate business to run, I find myself sometimes going a little batty.  As I sat in on an another amazing Serve Sell Live Well class with Sam Sagot, she had a guest speaker present on time management.  I believe I have gotten better, but man I feel like I am still not always finishing what I started, as I get so distracted easily! She said that our brains take 23 minutes to focus back on the original task at hand, and that multi-tasking is BAD (which I know) but gosh, it’s so hard to break this habit!  I feel like kids (who are 4, little and still quite needy) constantly interrupt my flow–whatever it may be.  I could be working on marketing, book-keeping, renovation details, talking to a contractor, paying taxes, you name it!  I could also be folding laundry, doing the dishes or trying to vacuum.  As I sit here and type this blog I just realized I have a pile of wet laundry behind me that needs to be hung.

I guess the point is, as much as I love giving tips, help a mama out!! I am working on “time blocking” but how do you stay on task?  How do you make sure that you finish what you started?  Working from home can be tricky–hello, I cannot leave my kitchen a mess and just walk by it without cleaning it!? How do you do all the housework, cook, take care of kids and get all your work done and still find time every day or week for you?

I also listened to the girls talk about having one day where they do not work.  Day of rest.  I know that Sunday should be that, but sometimes that the only day Joe & I can catch up and talk about business stuff without other work interfering. So, this week I think I will take Tuesday off…maybe my “Day of rest” will be Saturdays.  And mamas, by rest I don’t mean my feet are up all day and I’m not hustling around the house, but I mean one day off from “WORK.”  I LOVE what we are doing with our real estate company and I truly feel empowered to step into my role better each day, but I am sensing a little burnout and I simply can’t help but wonder if it’s because every day I “do” a little real estate work.

What are your thoughts, do you take a day of rest from your “job”?  Do you work every day and never feel a burn out? What do you enjoy doing on your day off?  I would like to use my Saturdays to catch up around the house, play with the kids, write, workout and let my mind take a mental break.  At the same time, I realize that we all have seasons of work, and I feel like right now maybe it’s more of hustle season, and it’s hard to break because we have a lot going on right now.   Maybe it’s okay to work a little every day, as long as you build in ‘down time’ every day and stick to it…

Maybe this blog makes zero sense, but I felt like getting my thoughts out of my jumbled mind, so feel free to chime in!  I feel like it applies to stay at home moms, work at home moms, working moms—all the moms! We take care of SO many things in a day, in a week–and don’t get me wrong, I know men do a lot too, but I’m just speaking about myself who’s a work at home mama…

Happy Sunday!

Saturday Sillies

I saw this and laughed out loud. It reminded me of our little dog Holly, and how as I get older (and the weather colder) I love a cozy night in!

Holly is a little stinker and we have had her 9 years come Thanksgiving Eve. She is more like a cat and literally burrows in and under all the blankets. Most times we can’t find her she’s under our bedsheets.

Holly takes over EVERY blanket gifted or bought. It’s annoying and I try hard to not let the blankets become hers, but inevitably at some point she finds them. I believe Bailey our lab got a hold of this blanket last year- and now Holly can peek through.

We had our first fire of the season yesterday and it was so delightful! I even took a nap.

Happy Saturday!

Hello November

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We had a great Halloween!  I decided that it would be superfragilist—I have no clue how to spell that, so, I thought it’d be super fun to surprise Brooke as she got off the bus from school.  Since it was pouring anyway, I put on my Mary Poppins costume.  She. About. Died.  She didn’t know it was me at first, she thought, “Who is that lady?!” Then realized it was Mommy AS Mary Poppins.  She just kept laughing and telling me how much she enjoyed it last night.  It was totally worth putting in that little effort to make her smile.

Photo Cred: Bradley!

I actually had this shirt in my closet from Banana Republic.  I scooped this skirt up at Marshalls forever ago, it was a Vince Camuto find.  I threw on a pair of black tights and wore some black booties (similar here) for this look.  I was definitely wearing rubber rain boots later on though.  I thought my Stella & Dot Getaway Bag was the perfect touch too! The hat I found on Amazon as well as the bow-tie.  

My crazy lil ninja.

I feel like I looked as though I was ready to go to work as a waitress too.  I used a lighter Bare Minerals liquid foundation and just a super pink blush, no bronzer, to give me that porcelain look.  I used Lipsense in Candy Cane. Oh, and I finally got a new tube of Epic Mascara.  It still is hands down my FAVORITE EVER!!

Just a spoonful of sugar.

I tried this fine Cab with our pizza and boneless wings for dinner.  Yum!

The kiddos wanted to bake football cookies since the 49ers played (and won!) Thursday Night Football.

My dad and step-mom came over and Brooke was having fun with the phone.

Papa was capturing her and the glow-sticks.

We were so happy they could come by, have dinner, help pass out candy and see the kids trick-or-treat.  They left me a treat by folding some laundry—#winning Thank you again!

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Papa in the mask!

The kids wanted to trick-or-treat with the neighbors this year, so we all got together.  I cannot believe how many houses we made it to!  Bradley did great keeping up, and the big kids did great at slowing down for him.  We all got wet, but it was warm so it really wasn’t that bad!

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My family.

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I hope you had a Happy Halloween, and cheers to a wonderful November!

 

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Happy Halloween!

I wanted to share some throwbacks on the blog today of the last few years. I cannot believe how big the kids are getting!  We are looking forward to a little trick-or-treating, even if it’s raining!  I think sometimes as adults we make it more about us than our kids and it’s important to remember the fun and joy we used to have at the SIMPLE things.  I’m talking, the smallest of things here people, are what seem to stick in our children’s minds.  My kiddos are already begging to play the “Santa Game” (Google during the holiday has a free Santa’s workshop thing they enjoy playing on my laptop)

Our first year with Brookie, 2013, we did a 49ers cheerleader outfit.

The 49ers were decent that year too, so we proudly wore our jerseys ha.

The second year, 2014, I scored a Pig Costume in January for like $3 when I ordered her first birthday party items.  Daddy always likes wearing a big scary mask…(it doesn’t scare the kids, but all the neighbor kids kind of wig out…)

I was pregnant with Bradley and had little pig ears, but they didn’t make the photo.  Side note, holy smokes our chairs are so clean before kids ruined them!! HAha

I just loved this costume. I just remembered how she didn’t want to put it on, but when trick-or-treaters came to the door in costume, she realized they got candy, so it quickly went right on!

Bradley came along and in 2015, we had Anna from Frozen and a cute Dragon.

I even did a YouTube video.

Brookie picked out a Unicorn costume from Target the following year, 2016 and my mom snagged me this cute cat head piece.

Bradley Boo was a Ninja Turtle

Halloween 2017 they both chose their costumes.  Lil miss had her heart set on being a black cat and Bradley fell in love with Kion.

Last year, 2018, Bradley chose Black Panther and Brooke was Mavis from Hotel Transylvania.

A sneak of this year— Bradley is a Ninja!

Our little Angel at dance class.

I may have decided to dress up a bit as well…here’s my inspiration!

It’s absolutely pouring, so I will most likely be wearing my rubber rain boots.  Oh the joys of Upstate New York weather!
Stay safe and Happy Halloween friends!

Tuesday Thoughts

I’ve been really feeling the changing of the seasons, the shifts in life and truly becoming more aware of what’s all around.

View outside my home

 

It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirl.

The constant comparing, the worry, the it’s not fair mentality.

As much as I try not to, I can fall victim to the negative swoop that surrounds us all.

We all do.

But time and time again, I go back to center.  The tools that I learned (and lived) with Lindsay Preston over the Spring and Summer continue to save and service me over and over again.  When I feel stressed, less than, anxious, upset, mad or frustrated I lean in.  I get quiet.  I realize that my problems are not too big.  I see others with far worse than I.  I write. I journal.  I walk outside.  I breathe.  I move my body.  I count my blessings and list the 5 things I am grateful for every.stinking.morning. (Thank you Hollis Co.)

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Nothing is too big, and we must remember that we are not alone, though alone we may feel.  The universe guides us, subtle and quiet, or sometimes with great force. You are exactly where you need to be at the exact right time.

The only thing you must remember, is that you must not quit. 

As Oprah says, “What is the next right move?”

Don’t think about tomorrow, next month or next year.

When frazzled, go ahead and talk out loud or grab a piece of paper.

Get the crazy mumbled thoughts out of your head and just breathe.

I am loving this Autumn for so many reasons, but mostly because it’s slowing me down and making me acutely aware of how precious life is.  In just a few days, trees go from vibrant greens to euphoric reds, orange and yellows…to brown and bare.  It is a season of collecting thoughts, pinecones, leaves, memories.  I find myself taking more photos with our ‘nice’ camera as if I’m trying to pause time itself.   I’m relishing the warm/cool walks with my family and dogs.

Above all, be grateful.

When all else fails, there is truly always something to be grateful for.

Whether is a pumpkin cold foam iced soy chai or your precious babies–

Getting grateful is the gateway to happiness, joy & loving your life.

What are you grateful for today?

Weekending

Happy Monday!

Is it me, or did I blink and the whole thing was gone?!

I finally grabbed these snacks for the kiddos and their “Fall Treat.”  They love it! I just mix it together in a small bowl or bag and they thought it was the coolest thing ever.

Meanwhile, mama is trying to keep the balance with lots of roasted veggies.  PSA– after these are roasted, they are so good with fried eggs on top!

Friday Joe hunted, Bradley had Pre-K and Brooke had a half day. I got to go to Zumba!

By noon, we all were back home and gearing up for a little family fun day!  We grabbed lunch and then had to check on some of our properties that are being rehabbed. This was the home with the fire in it.  Down to bare bones!

We took a drive down one of Joe’s favorite roads and the scenery did not disappoint!

After working a bit, we made sure to have fun and stopped to grab some pumpkins!

Saturday is our gymnastics day and we’ve been stopping by my Dad & Stepmom’s afterwards.  She begged me to take her photo!

That night I came home to a new Advanced Reader’s copy of this book–it’s a thriller!

Sunday was spent mostly tidying up the house and catching up on laundry.  We were going to do up some chicken wings, but they were still a little frozen! That’s okay, we’ll have them tonight.  I ended up with pasta (aka butter noodles for the kids) and I did some chicken up in a pan and slathered some Thai Peanut Sauce on the chicken & pasta.  It was actually quite good! We did carve our two pumpkins too!  The perfect ending to our weekend.

The the crazy, spooky madness of Halloween week commence!

NOLA

A few weeks back hubby and I got to go away, just the two of us!! It had been a few years since we were able to do such a thing, and boy did we enjoy it.  A company Joe works with flew us out to New Orleans for their annual conference.  We got to stay at this fancy hotel right in the French Quarter.

Pretty much as soon as we got there, we hit up Bourbon Street.  Disclaimer: If you take Bonine or Dramamine, I highly recommend not getting a Hurricane Drink.  I don’t do well on planes or with motion sickness in general, so I popped a Dramamine.  Oops.  I then didn’t really eat a whole lot because we traveled all day.  While I did chug a bunch of water, drinking this extra sugary beverage was not the best idea.  It was all fun in games until I came to a screeching halt! I survived, but didn’t enjoy Louisiana raw oysters….dem roast beef po boys though—mmm!

I felt much better after sleeping and the next morning we had breakfast at some funky little joint.  The french toast was to die for and of course I #putaneggonit

We went looking for my lifeline aka Starbucks, and stumbled onto the Mississippi River.  Haha typing that out reminds me of when my grandma used to make me spell it for her!

After our humbling experience at the Boone Hall Plantation last year, we definitely took note of the history here in New Orleans.

When we took a mini carriage ride/tour through the French Quarter, he shared with us the layouts of the homes.  There was usually a kitchen on the bottom, servants quarters above, small courtyard in between (to be like Versailles) and the owner’s home to the side or front?   Well, one night we were at a jazz bar and I went out back to use the bathroom, which I had to walk through a mini courtyard and when I opened the door to the ladies room this is what I saw!  How crazy, cool, weird and amazing was this?  The old ‘kitchen’ fireplace was still in tact.  Sure enough, there were a bunch of rooms above, which Joe and I thought gosh how hot it must have gotten in the servants areas!  I just loved seeing history like this.

On Tuesday we did a Food Tour with the whole group!  It was so cool.   I made sure to chug my water after my hurricane escapade the night before.

While we didn’t care for the raw oysters, these little guys were quite tasty!  Charbroiled, butter, lemon, wine, parm cheese & breadcrumbs–can’t go wrong there!!

Roast Beef Po’Boy.  So. Freaking. Good.  The French bread makes it!

We relaxed outside while waiting for the next round.

Fried Gator Bites!  It truly tasted just like chicken.  I’m wondering if this Remoulade sauce would taste like what we enjoyed down there.  I’ll have to ask my sister-in-law as she is from NOLA!

These shrimp were so tasty! I love dipping the bread in too…

Then as a dessert, we enjoyed Bread Pudding, which apparently you use the leftover French bread from the Po boys to make it.  I’ll need to find a recipe for this too! Any suggestions??

The owner of the company insisted we visit the Oldest Bar in America, Lafittes Blacksmith Shopso we basically had a giant happy hour here!

Wednesday was Joe’s 42nd birthday!! It was also the day where he had to speak on the panel.  Now, I don’t have to attend, but honestly I truly enjoy the keynote speaker and of course, I love supporting my husband.  I take credit in some of his success; he would not be able to get up and do all that he does, if I did not work 100% beside him doing all that I do.  We are a great team and if I can handle the behind the scenes stuff, then he can focus on his career.  Don’t get me wrong, I do work with our business too, but the main breadwinner is Joe.  Plus, I love getting all dolled up!

He actually won an award, I was so proud of him! He hates the extra attention, but he deserves all the applause.

Joe’s 42nd birthday, NOLA at a conference.

That evening we met for cocktails in hotel lounge and before we left for dinner, we stopped to admire my favorite –white roses!

The company pulled out all of the stops for their 20th Anniversary dinner.  We enjoyed French 75s at Arnauds as well as a spectacular dinner and conversations.

Our random table of new friends.  I was seated next to a Canadian foodie, but he’s not pictured.  We were going on and on about all the foods, drinks…he was a trip!

He was the one who ordered some fancy liquor and we toast to Joe, the company, life.

After celebrating into the night,  Joe had to wrap up the conference and by noon he was able to go grab lunch with me and see more.

That shrimp again!

This guy did me in, and I honestly think I’m still feeling its effects!!  Good old Buffalo sauce slathered on a fried oystery po boy.  #worthit

The one big #BUST of the trip was that for Joe’s birthday, I gifted him a really awesome racing experience, where he was to drive a Lambo around the NOLA race track.  Unfortunately, though it had not rained in 6 FREAKING WEEKS, it poured as we made our way 30 minutes there…thus resulting in no driving the Lambo.  I was crushed, pretty much in tears, and he was sad but not nearly as I!  I swear there will be a next time, maybe then my dad could drive and Bradley could watch.  Ugh, it totally sucked though, how cool would that have been??  He did sit and start it though… #lame.

We wandered around a little and I found William Faulkner’s house.  So cool!

We stuffed our faces, yet again with some po’boys.

One of my breakfasts was super yummy!  Loved this NOLA version of eggs benny…sweet potatoes yum!

We were at Café Beignet but didn’t try any.  #fail We did enjoy the view, live jazz music and some drinks…

Random old bar…

After our carriage ride/tour, we had to make sure we went back to the Oldest Bar in America for an authentic Hurricane.  According to our guide, he said these are the best on Bourbon St.  They use real juice, not a powder, so you don’t get all that nasty sugary taste/flavor and don’t feel sick afterwards!  It straight up tasted like juice, and I could see how very dangerous these could be!!

I was trying to have Joe take a photo of me in front of the bar/sign…this will do though! Haha.  It sums up the end of our getaway quite well:  Messy hair, crumbled red bull can/garbage…oh, Bourbon Street!

We attempted to rally that last night, but I could barely do dinner, I was beat.  My reflux/body had enough of the booze, the fried foods and all the things, so while I did enjoy a Muffalatta pizza, we were back in the hotel quite early.  I just couldn’t get into the whole drunken frat boy/puking scene happening on Bourbon.  BTW these shoes I bought specifically for NOLA and they did not disappoint! $20 and they were comfy, covered my toes from any–errr…grossness on Bourbon– and they seriously went with everything!

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While we had so much fun and were so grateful for this experience, by Friday night/Saturday I was really missing my babies! We love traveling and it’s something that I want to do more of in years to come.  Rumor has it next year’s conference will be in Miami.  I haven’t been to South Beach since I was 20! Oh, I better prepare better for next time around!

Autumn Tag

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Writer’s Block has hit (hello, it’s been a few weeks and my words don’t know where to begin again!) But as with anything in life, you’re supposed to just start. Don’t overthink, don’t sit and ponder, just jump in and take action! So here we go.

I googled Fall Bog Tags, and this one came up.  (I know it’s not early autumn, but hey it still worked!) I thought it’d be a fun and easy way to get back into the writing groove.

1- Favorite thing about Autumn?   The changing of the leaves.  I am obsessed with the colors this year!  I also love how it slows me down and I find myself being very present and in the moment.

2- Spooky Autumn or cozy Autumn?  Personally, I love cozy and cute.  I would not really call myself much of a spooky fan at all, however I married a man who loves halloween and all scary things, so there’s a nice mix here at our house.  My little guy who’s 4 is still a little spooked of some things, but even the kids love scary Halloween stuff!
3- Haunted house or Halloween party? I would much prefer a party, I don’t love being scared out of my mind!  I am thinking next year we have a Halloween party for the kids.  We always had them growing up and my dad (and his buddy) would dress up and scare us.  We’d wear costumes and dance around, play the donut on a string game, bob for apples…simple sweet memories!
4- Carve pumpkins or paint pumpkins? I love the look of a carved pumpkin.  Even if we just do a simple face, the glow and the memories are my favorite.  I do like a pretty painted pumpkin, but I just don’t like to do them.
5- Go apple picking or go on a hay ride? I’ve never actually gone apple picking, so I’ll go with hay ride.  I would love to get the kids on a hay ride before the season is over! They go with Joe at the land behind his lawn mower and always have a ball.
6- Pumpkin spice lattes or mulled apple cider? Apple cider.  I used to love PSL but I don’t drink coffee any more.  However, the pumpkin cold foam chai was pretty tasty! I should get one more before they’re gone…
7- What did you dress up for Halloween last year? I didn’t!  We didn’t go to any parties and Joe had to work late, we kind of rushed Halloween last year and I am hoping it won’t be so crazy this year. As for this year’s costume, it will be fun though.  Stay tuned!
8- Falling rain or a crackling fireplace? Ooooh, can I have both?!  I love being cozy inside when it’s raining out, but that fire will always be my favorite.  We currently have a real fire place which smells and feels amazing, I just don’t love the mess.  In my dream bedroom I’ll have a gas fireplace!
9- Have you purchased any fall decor yet? I bought some pumpkins and mums for outside.  I usually buy one new seasonal item to add to my collections, but I don’t think I bought anything this year?  Maybe when they go on clearance I’ll take a look~
10- Favorite photo that you took last fall? I just took these these this year.


11- Favorite Autumn-themed movie? You’ve Got Mail.  LOVE Meg Ryan & Tom Hanks.
12- Favorite color to wear in Autumn? Mustard or purples.  I also love black, and I feel that it’s very appropriate for Fall!
13- Favorite Autumn-themed book? I’ll read a thriller or mystery…just finished Sharp Objects, that was a good one to read in October!
14- Best way to spend a rainy day? Tea, a good book, cuddles on the couch with the dogs and kids–maybe even a nap!
15- Favorite Autumn food? Pumpkin or butternut squash soup. I am using my slow cookers all the time right now! I also love baking breads, muffins, all the yummy and heartier things.
16- Favorite Autumn quote?

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17- Favorite Autumn leaf? Probably that red maple you’d see above.  My husband and I keep seeing these gorgeous bushes that are turning from a green to an amazing red–we need to find out what kind they are!
18- Favorite Autumn activity? Walks in the leaves, picking out our pumpkins, baking and cooking!
19- Favorite Autumn scent? Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, anything maple, apple, I love food scents.
20- Is your birthday in Autumn?  No, but my husband’s is!! October 9th.

Crustless Egg Bake

A few weeks ago I shared a few quiche recipes (which are SO good!) but I just did a 10 day cleanse and cut out processed carbs, so I decided to try out this egg bake using ground turkey for the bottom.  — More on that cleanse later, but MAN cutting extra sugars and carbs make me feel so lean and great!!

I don’t know about you, but mornings can be crazy hectic, no matter how organized I am the night before, there’s something that pops up and needs attending to in the mornings.

I have my husband to get out the door–clothes ironed, breakfast made, lunch packed.

My first grader to get ready for school and catch the bus before 8:30.

Every other day my 4 year old has preschool.

Plus two dogs who need to be taken outside and fed as well.

Oh yeah, and there’s me!

This was awesome because it fed me ALL week.  I cut this into giant squares and it honestly filled me up.  I was able to run errands or workout and did not feel hungry at all.

Best part? You can use whatever veggies you have on hand!! Clean those refrigerators out people! I am really being more aware of how much food we have and trying to use it up before it goes bad.

Recipe:

Pre-heat oven 350

Brown the ground turkey (chicken, beef, whatever your preference!) and add spices.  I used herb de provence from Trader Joes.

Sauté veggies (if raw) until soft.

I used 4 eggs and I had 3/4 carton of egg whites left — stir in a mixing bowl.

In a 9×13 layer ground meat, then all of the veggies.  I double checked the fridge and found some broccoli leftover from a dinner so I threw that in as well!  Then pour the eggs on top.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.

I salt and pepper to taste before I eat it.

You could add cheese, but again I was cleansing so I didn’t until I was finished. I did add a little goat cheese after I was done, and it was so good!

I love when I can make something ahead of time and simply warm it up.  You could probably freeze this as well if you don’t think you’d eat it every single day, but I didn’t mind since I knew it was filling and healthy.

Enjoy!

 

Productivity

I’ve been really focusing on what’s making me productive and how I’m getting everything done.  I watch tons of other moms on YouTube doing their thing, I surround myself with positive people and have a few tips that I believe can help you if you feel overwhelmed.  I am doing the #last90dayschallenge and so a few of these are inspired by Rachel Hollis, but I started implementing them before 10/1 so I can speak from experience that they are helping in more ways than one!

1.) Cut distractions. 

This could be negative family or friends, social media in general, mindless snacking, or your phone.  I know babies, kids and dogs can be a bit demanding, but get into a schedule and figure out a good routine.  I know if I put the dog outside on her doggie run, I have a good amount of time to get some stuff done without worrying about her puppy-ness wanting to chew on toys that haven’t been cleaned up etc.  My kids are getting older so I can set some timers and let them watch a show, play a video game or independently play without having to watch them like a hawk.  If you have a baby or a toddler, then give yourself grace.  You’re number one focus is keeping that human alive!  Otherwise, turn off the phone, ignore messages (for now) and set a time later in the day to accomplish those things.  Having a list helps me.

2.) Finish things.

There’s not much worse than that feeling like you have a million things left not done.  Maybe you’ve started most of them, but if you’re like me, you can easily get distracted (kids, dogs, life!) and then I don’t finish something and it hangs there.  Just do it.  It probably only takes half the time we think anyway.  Set a timer and get-er-done!  The satisfaction of crossing it off the to do list and actually seeing an end result will catapult you onto the next activity that needs to happen.

3.) Drink your water & Cut or limit sugars, processed foods, and alcohol. 

Tired? Drink your water.  Hungry?  Drink your water.  Bored? Drink your water.  Feeling run down? Drink your water.  Want a soda or coffee?  Drink some water.  I’ve been making myself drink half of my body weight in water, and before I allow myself to eat or drink something else (even tea) I chug a bunch of water to see if it’s something I still want.  Water is SO important for all of our organs and to keep us running full steam! Here me out, I get it.  The latté, cookie, chips, pop, whatever seems so helpful but it I find that the quick fix does not fix the overwhelm.  I know I’m just coming off a cleanse, where I did omit these items, but seriously, I have no brain fog, lots of energy (at 6am) I’m sleeping great and if I had not gotten mindful about what was going into my body, I don’t think I would have realized how great I could feel.  Am I never going to have wine or a Green Tea Latté again?  Heck no, BUT I will have them in moderation.  I think we all tend to get a little lenient in the summer and before we know it, we feel like crap, and the spiral continues.  Plus half of the problem is that we don’t even realize how much we’re consuming until we step away from it for a bit…

4.) Wake up an hour early.  

It’s not easy.  I love sleep.  I love the cozy bed and the feel of the soft sheets.  BUT, when you start making a habit of getting up before the rest of the house, something changes inside.  I look forward to starting my day.  I get to do a few of my favorite things, writing, reading, sipping tea and just be alone with my thoughts.  You could workout, pray, meditate, whatever you feel like doing, but do it before you have to go take care of everyone else.  Creating before you start consuming will change your life people!  I’ll write more on my morning routine later, but just try it for a few weeks.  If you normally get up at 7, set that alarm for 6 and just set things up the night before.  I literally cannot stress the importance of this one!  YOU matter and putting yourself first to be with God, or a good book, or sweat sesh will give you that push the rest of the day.  An hour sound like too much?  Start with 15-20 minutes and work your way up.  I was up at 5:45 no alarm today, just because.

5.) Have fun!

The less we look at things at “chores” or things that we have to do, the better we feel.  If I have a dirty floor, clothes piled everywhere, messy rooms, food to prepare and overflowing dishes in the sink, the first thing I do is breathe.  Push play on a good audiobook or even a fun song, watch a TV show or YouTube video while you get to work.  {I recently just rented an old favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail, so that I could watch it while I folded and put away the endless loads of laundry}.  Once I realize I can habit stack, I know it won’t be so bad. Then I throw some laundry in, (to feel like I started taking action on SOMETHING!) get going on the dishes, prepare the food, clean up and before I realize it, everything is back in place and I can sigh in relief that my kitchen is no longer a disaster area!

Fitness Meets Fashion: Fit Couture

I have the pleasure of being a brand ambassador for Jenn Richardson’s new fitness apparel Fit Couture.  Jenn is a genius when it comes to creating pieces that fit well for every woman, using trendy styles as well as higher end material, while keeping the price reasonable.

My items arrived in a super timely fashion and were adorably packaged with little stickers.

I ordered three pieces to try out and honestly I cannot decide which is my favorite.

The Adelaide sports bra has taken over first place for my favorite Lulu sports bra! $34 (which is way better for the budget!) and it’s supportive (34c here) and buttery soft.  I love that you can remove the cups so that they continue to support the girls, but I do hear that she’s working on different inserts.  (she listens to feedback!) I’m a sucker for the strappy back and really like that it pokes out of open back tanks etc.  It does not cut or dig into me nor do I feel suffocated, like other VS sports bras I have tried.  It’s literally the best!

The Ivy Leggings were honestly the #1 thing that caught my eye.  These come in black or this pink (mauve–which is SO in right now) and they are only $59. Again, I adore the crisscross design and how it gives the booty an extra lift!!

They are so cute!! I received so many compliments.  I did a Medium in these as well.  (I am a size 6 typically.) They are plenty long enough in the legs.  I’d say they are mid-rise but they do come up almost to my navel.

The Maia top is SO fun!!  It comes in Black, Grey or White and is $30.  I ordered a Medium and it’s not a full crop, but definitely rides up a little, but with a higher waisted legging, I felt totally confident and not too teeny-bopper!  It’s edgy but I’m comfortable working out and running errands in it.

Jen is currently working on some animal print pieces too, so stay tuned!!

 

Remember to use my code JENNDELLEFAVE to save 10% when you order from here. 

 

Five on Friday

I am linking up with Becky, Della,  Whitney,  and Tif for High Five on Friday!

1.) I am officially on Day 5 of my cleanse today.  Less bloat, more energy, no mindless snacking or shoveling all the things into my mouth.  No pumpkin chais—sad face– but I feel great! I honestly don’t remember the last time I cleansed, so that is usually a good indication of me really needing to ‘reset’.   I’d tell ya how much weight I’ve lost, but oh yeah, my scale died.  Bought new batteries.  That didn’t work.  So a new scale is on the way, thank you Amazon–can’t wait to try it out!  I really didn’t think I was eating ‘that bad’ but oh goodness, the sugar detox has been REAL!  All those starchy carbs, sugary lattes, cookies, cakes, breads, pastas…I was out of whack.  (PS my tank is linked here!)

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Post day 3 hump woo!

2.) Last 90 Days starts Tuesday!! I’m super pumped, and have been rocking the ‘Start Today Journal’ as part of my morning routine the last few weeks. I bought it back in November of last year, then Joe got really sick (we didn’t realize it at the time, how sick he was) and then holidays came and his Crohn’s was so bad that he ended up in the hospital.  I abandoned this little journal (and myself) and then found my Life Coach.  I spent so much time working with her until August.  I honestly just felt the need to pick it back up and start again! I can’t wait to fill it up!  I love it.

3.) Family Fridays.  I miss these.  I know kids need to be in school, but man the four of us have so much fun together in the Summer and on holidays!  Sure I need my mama breaks like everyone else, but I just love spending time with these two goofballs. I miss Summer already!  I am already dreaming and scheming how we will spend our holidays and breaks.  I want to visit more pumpkin patches, drink hot cocoa, visit the kids museum, go sledding…All the things!

4.)  We had another meeting to build our dream home.  We couldn’t find a sitter, so we were hoping that we could rely on some good old technology.  Unfortunately the cemented walls in the conference room made it for ZERO cell reception.  Meeting seemed to be a (very) small step forward (better than back?) and the kids did pretty well considering.  Onward and upward!  I am leaning into my faith on this one.  Building on your own lot is no joke! Patience is key and I continue to focus on my gratitude.  I was super frustrated after leaving the meeting, but then I turned on Joel Osteen (no, I don’t care if you’re a Christian and you think he’s no good, thanks though!) and as always, the very first sentence I heard him say, spoke to me.  God will take you through the fire sometimes, and he will make you fire proof. Other times, you will be delivered and not have to fight that battle at all.  I calmed down immediately and let go, to let God.

5.) ETST aka Kelle Hampton on the gram.  (Enjoying the small things). She’s probably my favorite account to follow.  She takes beautiful photos, is so creative and I just adore her.  She has three children and is so real, yet artsy.  Her page sparks joy, inspires and I never feel less than when being in her little space here on the internet.  She does this 15 minute shake down she shares on her stories and cleans up her kitchen, which resembles any families on an after dinner evening.  She’s great! I always leave her page wanting to be a better momma. She shared this last week and I MUST MAKE IT for my crew (and neighbor friends!)

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Motivating Quotes

It was time for a photo phone dump of my motivating quotes!  I love looking at inspiration, but my iCloud gets mad at me telling I am full all of the time.  I thought maybe you’d enjoy a few of these too!

Have a wonderful day!

 

And, reader beware, adult language:

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I Confess…

I miss the link up for these!! {If there’s a new one, someone please LMK! K thanks.}

…I’m on day 2 of my cleanse and I’ve got a whole chicken in the slow cooker—I’m dying to eat it and it’s no where near dinner time.

…Yes I am still doing Advocare cleanses.  They are gentle and effective and my body just seems to reset just perfectly when I do them!

…I went to step on my scale yesterday and the batteries were dead.  NOT COOL! I need to know how many el-bees I lose man!!

…I am super pumped that my husband agreed to go speak on a panel again for an awesome Auto Financial Group conference.  Mama gets to go again too—yay!!

…On that note, we are staying at this beyond gorgeous & swanky Hotel Monteleone.  You guys, there is a carousel bar.  Yes, an actual carousel that spins slowly while you sippy your drinky!

…I am in a silly mood.  I just finished a great uplifting audiobook, maybe it is that.

 

…For real though, I love the way Marie tells her truth bombs and sprinkles adult language throughout the book. It’s real life and quite motivating! Her uplifting and encouraging spirit brought me here to type a blog post!

…Every time my dishwasher beeps, Joe typically says, “Jennnnnnnn” when he’s here.  Now even when he’s not here, that’s all that I can hear when the damn thing beeps.  It’s funny bc it’s true.  I’m the only one who really unloads the dishes.  Well, Brooke helps with the silverware.  And I am not complaining; I love my dishwasher!

…I’m still going at it with 100 Morning Meltdown, but I adapted so I can do it at the gym or I’ll just do other cardio instead of her crazy plyo moves.

…I’m sore from the Meltcon workout I did yesterday.

…One of my favorite YouTubers launched some Merch!! Check out her adorable sweatshirts and tees here!!!

…Ya’ll know I’m a Rachel Hollis fangirl and I have been so excited that the last 90 Days is coming up!! People, we have less than 100 days until 2020—what are you doing to make it count??  I cannot wait to break out that new journal.

…One of my favorite authors/spiritual ladies Gabby Bernstein had a new book launch today and as soon as my audible credit loads (as it does the 24th of every month) you bet that I’ll be listening to her!!  She mentioned on Good Morning America today that yes it’s about talking about getting what you want in life, but first and foremost you must feel good in order to receive.  YES!!

 

…Why yes, I am a book & journal nerd and I’m not mad about it.  I also just love the feeling of completing a book or finishing writing in a journal.

…Prayers up for my dad.  He’s having a small procedure done Wednesday and as always, good vibes & health are always welcome.

…There is no better feeling than being in alignment or my authentic self.

…Fall is in the air and me breaking my pumpkin cold foam chai addiction is real.

…Gratitude does do so much for the soul!!  I’ve been doing my Start Today Journal after I personally journal and there is always something to be grateful for.

…”Create before you consume” is also my morning routine motto.  Before I let in anyone else, I let my own inner light, soul and beauty shine on paper, in my mind and heart.

 

Have a fabulous Tuesday friends!

Cleaning Routine

It’s only taken me my whole life to come up with and stick to a cleaning schedule–haha!

I used to try to clean the whole house and it’d take most of the day.  Then I had kids and if you have children, you know that you cannot do anything for 4 hours straight, let alone clean the whole house.  I would try to sneak in cleaning here or there, but I’d inevitably get backed up and struggle with keeping up.  I will admit that I do hire help once in awhile; I build it into our budget and it’s really great to have the whole house clean at once AND it forces me to keep up with it.

However, I don’t get help every week or even every other week, so I started this a few weeks ago.  I cannot take full credit for the breakdown, as I watch YouTube and How Jen Does it uses a similar routine.  I did choose my own chores on what days worked best for me.

I’ll be the first to admit that with two little kids and two dogs (especially a big one who drips water all over the floor after she drinks every single time) it’s not easy to keep the house in tip top shape.  I use the Roomba almost daily and am constantly wiping the counters and table down, as my little guy is still home with me most of the time.  I do feel like I found a way to keep a handle on the mundane chores that need to get done without feeling like all I do is clean.

My Top 5 Tips:

  1. Get everyone to help.  Even my little guy loves to help vacuum, dust or wash the mirrors.  Sure it’s not perfect and I usually have to re-do some things because he’s 4, but I’m teaching him how to help, he feels useful and he will have this valuable skill for life.   My daughter is great at putting folding her laundry and putting it away as well as being responsible for helping with keeping the kids bathroom clean.
  2. Do a WHOLE load of laundry every day. We are a family of four and I swear we have too many clothes haha.  It’s the never-ending chore and if I don’t keep up with it for even a day, it backs up pretty badly.  If I can wash, dry, fold AND put away one single load daily, I feel like it really does help.  I’m not perfect, but I do attempt to put a load in first thing every morning. If I know I’m home all day, I’ll do a couple of loads, but at the very least aim for one.  I hang dry a lot of my husband and my clothes, to keep them nice, so they usually take a day to dry before I can put them away.
  3. Clean sheets Monday This started a few months back and I am always so grateful to start the week off fresh clean sheets!  There’s nothing better than falling into bed with a nice new set of sheets, am I right?  I also take time to pull the kids sheets and wash their blankets, rotating every so often.  That way I’m not left wondering, wait when was the last time that happened??
  4. Be flexible. I’ll be honest, some Tuesdays I don’t get the vacuuming done because we had to XYZ, but the next day I’ll just make up for it.  It really doesn’t take that long for each chore, but if you let everything go, it does seem next to impossible to finish.  Sometimes I combine dusting & glass/mirrors too because our Friday is when Joe is off and it’s hard to do chores when we are off doing something enjoyable or working on real estate.
  5. Post your schedule. Routines take time to establish and get into, so the first few weeks here I had to make sure I wrote down in my planner, posted the routine on my fridge and reminded myself daily what needed to get done.  It’s also great so if the kids want to play on electronics, I can quickly look and see what they can do to help out before I let them play.

 

Bottom line, don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed with housework, but do something!  Setting a timer for 10 minutes can really help you de-clutter a messy countertop or start organizing a play area too.

Do you follow a cleaning routine?

 

Life Hack: Habit Stacking

As most busy mamas, I attempt to “do all the things” pretty much on a daily basis.  When I start to feel overwhelmed, I do have a few tips that seem to work for me.

I heard the term “Habit Stacking” after reading the book Atomic Habits. You can find out more here.   It made total sense when I heard it explained.  It’s not simply multi-tasking.  I feel that sometimes we feel overwhelmed because we are doing too much at once and not really enjoying things.  However, when you make conscious choices of who, what, where, why and when you are spending your time on, things start to fall together a little easier.

He explains it more in a sense of cues, and moment by moment, like pour your tea, read your book, write in your journal…combine the things that you need to get done anyway, but chunk them together.  I took it a step further…

If you’re feeling like you never get to do anything for you, or that you have too many things going on, I suggest you shrink your daily “must do” to about 5 or 6 things.  From there, are any of them able to be combined?

For example, this may be a list for me:

1.) Meal prep.

2.) Spend time with girlfriends.

3.) Unwind & enjoy some delicious tea.

4.) Clean the house/chores.

5.) Read more books.

6.) Work on business training.

Taking a look at the list above, I could be negative and just cross off #2 because, helloooooo, I’m a busy mom with NO TIME!

Wrong. 

The truth is, we all have the same amount of time in a day and the glorious part is, we get to choose where we are spending that time!  Of course there are obligations and such, but overall, you are in charge people!

So a better way to look at the things I’d like to do is asking myself, is there any way I can mix some of these together, so that I actually get some things accomplished and feel great.  In the list above, I decided to join my friend Cathy at her house for a Tastefully Simple Freezer Meal Workshop.  While I was there, I got to catch up with her, meet someone new and as an added bonus, I got to try some amazing Chai!   Y’all know I love me some tea.

As for reading more books, I consider audiobooks reading as well.  Nothing beats a a good book in my hands, but again, as a busy mama, instead of using #notime as an excuse, I find the time.  I listen to audiobooks (and podcasts) while I drive in the car, grocery shop, clean the house, fold the laundry, do the dishes, walk the dog…I mean really any time I can.  I choose not to watch TV, I choose to spend most of this time reading or listening.

Working on business training, through mastermind groups or watching videos, I set aside time to focus on that (instead of TV) or if possible, I’ll do some light housework while listening too.

Another example of habit stacking would be acknowledging your wants/desires.  In this case, we wanted to be outside, eat lunch, and work on some business.  We stopped at our favorite burger joint and went to a park. Bradley was content as there was a little playground, so we could also enjoy time with him.  It was honestly a win all around!

I think more than anything, when you are optimistic and see the glass as half full, your mood shifts.  You’re in the “I get to” mentality vs the victim “I have to.”  You realize that you do have time, you just have to really think about how you’re going to spend it.  Now I totally don’t structure my days 24/7, but if I can take the time to plan them out 80% of the time, things run so much better!

PS I told my friend Cathy she was even better at habit stacking than she realized! She was making money with her side hustle (Tastefully Simple), enjoying girl time AND making meals for her family.  #rockstar

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Focus on the wins and celebrate ladies.  We really can do it all!  (Not all at once, but if you put your mind to it, anything and everything is possible!)

What are some ways you already habit stack, or is it something you may consider? I’d love to hear some different ways you are choosing to spend your time wisely!

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Quiche

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Believe it or not, I’ve never actually made a quiche before! Joe’s not a huge fan, but I am realizing how crazy my mornings/ok life are and as much as I try to meal prep or stay on top of cooking, I could use a little help!

I had a craving for some quiche after watching some YouTube videos.  I picked up my pie crusts at Aldis, they came in a pack of 2. I decided to make two different ones and see how they came out.  I wouldn’t consider these “clean” because I did use pie crusts, half & half and cheese, but you could totally lighten them up!  (Use egg whites, go crust-less & switch to a fat free milk). I really enjoy a hearty breakfast since I workout, but I’d probably make it not so rich in the future. This would be perfect for a holiday breakfast or for a bunch of people.

Spinach Mushroom Quiche

1 pie crust

1 cup of cheese (I used cheddar)

1 cup of spinach & 1 container of mushrooms

3/4 cup of milk (I used half and half)

6 eggs

Salt & pepper to taste.

Set your oven for 375 degrees.

Slice mushrooms & sauté in a pan with a little cooking spray.  Add spinach and cook until both are soft/wilted.

In a bowl stir eggs & milk — salt/pepper to taste.

Pour mushrooms/spinach into pie crust.

Top with half of the cheese.

Pour egg & milk mixture over that.

Add the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.  I had set the timer for 45 but they were done before that!

Let it set before slicing into it. Enjoy!

Ham & Cheddar Quiche

1 pie crust

1 cup of cheese

1 cup of cooked diced up ham

3/4 cup milk (I used half & half)

6 eggs

Green onions (I just used one)

Salt & pepper to taste

Set your oven for 375 degrees.

In a bowl stir eggs & milk — salt/pepper to taste.

Pour ham & most of the cheese into pie crust.

Pour egg & milk mixture over that.

Add the rest of the cheese.

Top with green onions.

Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.  (I baked the two together, so again I had set the timer for 45 but they were done before that!)

 

Do you have a favorite quiche recipe?  Please share! I want to experiment with different cheeses and such.  Bacon, prosciutto, Canadian bacon, sausage, ground turkey are all great meat ideas too!  I think this is a great way to meal prep but also use up what’s in the fridge.

Falling for Fall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

What are you falling for this Fall?

Currently

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Weekend Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy September!

Tea with Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A Look Back at August

What a fun month we had!

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

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

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

We had a fun double date with some friends.

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

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

Bradley enjoyed his weekly sports camp.  He loved Lacrosse!

Brooke earned a free book for Summer reading!

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

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

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

Tuna Poke Bowl

Asian Chicken Skewers & Thai Noodles With Spicy Peanut Sauce

Egg Roll in a Bowl

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

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

Bradley had his Pre-K ice cream social.

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

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

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

What was your favorite thing about August?

Back to School Routine

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

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

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

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

Ideal Day:

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

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

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

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

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

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

9:00 drop off Bradley to school MWF

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

11:30 Pick up from Pre-K

12:00 lunch

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

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

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

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

6:30 Bath/shower

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

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

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

What helps?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Girl Should Be

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

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

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

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

I know who I am.

I know what I want.

Do you?

Amazon Storefront & Some Randoms

Happy Thursday beautiful souls!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s on your agenda this weekend?

Five on Friday: Weekend Edition

Hey hey!! Happy Friday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black Cami

Jeans (similar)

Necklaces

Shoes (similar)

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

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

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

Cheers to a great weekend and a beautiful day!

Brooke Dances

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

Back in June she had her recital.

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

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

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

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

We are so proud of her!

One of her favorite parts is getting a trophy.

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

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

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

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

Post Life Coaching Feels

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

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

Transparent moment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tea (and cookies) with Me

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Friday Favorites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Free to be ME

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

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

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

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

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

Do you know what happened?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 Years

On 7.10.10 we celebrated 9 years of marriage!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers to year 9 and many many more!!

Morning Meltdown 100

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

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

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

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

I’m ready!

Get Still

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

Maybe sitting with yourself, no distractions, no noise.

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

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

Loving July

Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a beautiful day sweet friends!

 

Give Thanks

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

Two for Tuesday

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

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

Enjoy.

A Mix (poem)

Do you like to be alone?

Or out and about in the crowds?

Do you sit at home and sulk?

Or do you prefer it to be loud?

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

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

and more that likes to be–

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

But cozy and calm, with a teacup in hand,

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

Sunday Quote

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

Summer Meal Inspo

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

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

Hot Summer Dinner Ideas

Summer Weeknight Dinners

Skinny Taste

Food and Wine

Smoker Recipes

 

Happy cooking!

4th of July 2019

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

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

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

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

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

1 lb of elbow macaroni

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

1 brick of extra sharp cheddar

1 wedge of Gouda

1/2 velveeta block cubed

1 stick of butter

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

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

I love these two.

This girl loves her fireworks!

Happy 4th of July!!

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

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

Here’s 2012-2018

I’ll post our newest one tomorrow!

Cheers friends!