Happy 8 Years to Us!

It has been a crazy fantastic and wild ride, these last 8 years!!  We have been tested, pushed to our limits, had our fair share of frustrations…but isn’t that what makes the good parts so good?  No one said life would be easy.  Marriage is just as much work as everything else in life.  Parenting. Jobs. Being healthy. Being happy.  Choosing to give your best and do the right thing, even when you may not want to.

I will be as transparent as I can, and say that year 7 was undoubtedly the toughest year.  We added a business and with that, our daily routines changed, my role as ‘homemaker turned business woman’ really took off.  I struggle daily trying to find the balance of 1950’s housewife (which I LOVE!) and being an entrepreneur (which I also LOVE!)

I will tell you one of my secrets; just don’t quit.  I will rest, I will cry if needed, I will sulk momentarily, or throw myself a quick pity party, but then I get right back up and fight for my purpose.  I fell in love with my husband 10 years ago, silly kids back then.  At 26 I thought I knew it all.

At 36, I can tell you I know nothing!! haha

I know enough, but I don’t know it all.

I know that it’s important to compromise in a marriage, for it to work.

I know that communication is key.  Blabbing to others about problems will do nothing, unless you learn to work them out together.

I know that at the end of the day, we are both tired and exhausted, but to go the extra mile and make a fresh warm meal is what my husband needs.

I know that date nights and carving out KID FREE time somehow almost every day is essential to us.

I know that the more that I focus on my husband’s good qualities vs any negative, that is what I will get more of.  (he taught me that) No one is perfect, we are human and we are bound to annoy the crap out of each other, but look past the imperfections…like the laundry outside of the hamper, or the toilet paper that needs to be put back on the roll.

I know that putting away the iPhones, ipads, laptops, etc for a little awhile refreshes us and allows us to talk freely without distractions.

I know that one day, when the kids are grown and out of the house, and the dogs are really old, or perhaps no longer with us, we will still have each other.  That is why I work as hard on my marriage, if not more, than I do at anything else.

As for our anniversary?  We got some amazing news that our perc test passed at the land!!

To celebrate 8 years, we went to one of favorite spots, Pane Vino.

It was nice and warm, the sun was still out and we enjoyed an outside table.

I love this restaurant right on the river. Lobster French!!

For dessert we shared some delicious raspberry creme brulee tasting thing! It was super yummy.

Joe wanted to take a photo of our view…

He gave me a super sweet card with a champagne bottle and inside said let’s celebrate. I kind of giggled thinking well, we are just going to dinner but I guess that’s a celebration?

But then after dinner he drove to the little beach we love and presented me with a gift of champagne flutes!! I still had not caught on what he was doing…

It was a moment later I noticed the Yeti cooler with a bottle of Rosé champagne and our beach blanket.

To say that I was surprised, is an understatement.

It’s the little things that mean the most, isn’t it?  Sure the fancy champagne was amazing, but more than that it was the mere thought and efforts he put into this little beach excursion.

He told me that I gave him the idea; the other day we were discussing anniversaries and how other couples don’t do a lot.  Maybe a card, maybe not.  It’s not about spending the money but it’s really about the effort.

Last year we did go back to where we said “I do” but neither of us put in much more work than that…and honestly?  Shame on us.  You can’t expect a marriage to run well on its own.   One thing I have learned is that one of you may be putting in more effort than the other, but that will always ebb and flow.


So my advice to any married couple is, take the chances and do the spontaneous.  We both realized that a bottle of champagne, a beach blanket and some music were MORE than amazing.  Just us two being goofy and silly–something that can easily be left behind when you’re building a business and raising babies.

So cheers to us.

Cheers to the last year, in particular that shook us, changed us, helped us grow and see how precious a marriage really is.

Cheers to the years ahead.

Cheers to love, faith, and friendship.

I love being your Queen Joseph and I cherish every special moment like this that you create for us.

PS. he did say he thought about taking us to the land, which is ironic because in my letter to him, it said next year we can go click champagne flutes on our foundation of our house.  He opted for the beach this year since he knows my soul loves the sand and water.

My best friend, happy anniversary.  I love you!

Birthday Wishlist

With July comes another year around the sun! I love my birthday and always have. There’s something about being born into this earth that seems so special to me.

I know a lot of people, especially ladies don’t like to tell their age or get upset about turning older…but I love it! Sure wrinkles and sore joints are not always fun, but I truly look at each year as it’s own gift.

I also have been wishing for a few things so I figured I’d share what’s on my list!

1. Candles

I’m obsessed with Bath and Body Works candles. I like Yankee too but man oh man, some of these smell soooo good! With two dogs as much as I clean, I can’t stand the smell of dog when you walk into a house. I feel like these help?!

2. Sleep mask

I got a free one awhile back with some VS pajamas. I have been wearing it more now that the sun is up so early, and it does help me sleep “in” until 6:30! #momlife #puppylife

3. Magnolia Table

I fell in love with The Magnolia story and the Gaines family. I related so much to them and love their core life values. I’ve been eyeing this cookbook since it came out and have heard nothing but great things about the recipes!

4. Journals

I feel like these are always on my lists…but I love them and use them all the time! From keeping notes to actually journaling, I believe everyone could use a journal.

5. Notepads

Magnetic or not, I could use some more cute notepads! Lists are what keep me (sort of) sane and I’m always jotting down things we need from the store or notes to the Sitter.

6. Good Bubbly

This was on my list last year, and it was that good it needed to be back on this year! I love a good dry rosé bubbly. I can’t drink cheap wine. If I’m going to indulge I want it to be worth it.

Brooke Dances

Our tiny dancer finished up her 3rd year at her dance studio in June.  She got to do two dances this year: ballet and tap!   She was such a trooper going to class each week and loved being on stage.

This photo was snapped after the rehearsal.  Lollipops were truly earned!

I love her goofy little faces and moves that she makes.  She’s not super serious and I love that about her.

Pure sweetness, all of them!

I didn’t order both ballet & tap photos because, man photos are not cheap!! Plus we have so many extras and I just took a photo of the photo haha.  But seriously, I think she’s trying to channel Taylor Swift!  She’s so tall and always striking these poses.  I about died when I saw this.




Her tap photo was precious!

The shoulder lean, the hip pop…it’s innate, what can I say? Sorry husband!

Her other little friend Brooklyn.

This was such a great class and we are hoping to keep the girls together again next year.

I’m not ready to put her into competition classes yet; I remember how much time and effort that takes!! For now, I want her to enjoy the art of dancing.  Make new friends.  Gain confidence by going on stage–that adrenaline rush is like no other!!

While she wasn’t nervous to go on stage, she doesn’t like waiting too much! Luckily they found lots of smiles once they got up to perform.

Kissy kissy!

I still can’t believe I’m a #dancemom but I love it!!  I never would have imagined it being so stressful as a parent (I think it’s more stressful than being the dancer honestly!) I can’t believe her third recital is in the books.

I don’t believe in putting the kids in too many activities especially when they’re little, but she loves dancing and as long as she’s happy, dancing she’ll be.

I hope that she always loves dancing and that it never becomes too stressful where she can’t enjoy the moments and lose herself in the dance.




Rent to Own: A look at Titus Ave

A little over a year ago Joe came to me and said we were going to change up our rental properties a bit.  We had several houses filled with tenants who rented from us.  We would get the occasional call about something breaking and needing to be fixed, but overall it was a nice side gig.

Well, we decided to switch to Rent to Own.  It’s not a super common to find Rent to Own homes and I have heard quite a few horror stories of them going way wrong.  We are essentially selling our homes, just on terms, like rent to own.  We require a down payment, all of which goes towards the future purchase price of the home.  We collect a monthly set rent; anything over that rent can also accumulate towards the future down payment. (Known as our Down payment assistance program).  We have our buyers sit down with attorneys and let them choose however long they’d like to rent for.  Most folks choose 2 years on average.  If they need more time, we can always extend; we never kick people out of homes if they aren’t ready for that mortgage. They will just rent until they are able to qualify.

Why do I love our business so much?

We get to help people move into homes that can’t get a mortgage at the moment.  Most often credit is an issue and we offer free services to help these folks out and give them as much time in the home as necessary.

The nice part for us is that we are no longer landlords; the tenant buyers are responsible for all maintenance and repairs, just as they would be if the deed was in their name.

We love being able to offer this option for serious buyers who want to settle into a home.  We are extremely selective and never put just anyone in a home.  We would never want someone in a house they couldn’t afford etc.

The latest home we bought was a random Facebook find!  A nice lady reached out and asked if we would be interested in buying this home from her; she no longer wanted to be a landlord/rent it out.  We of course said yes!

It’s an adorable 3 bedroom, 1.5 half bathroom in the town of East Irondequoit.  Cute front porch (perfect for people watching and cocktail drinking!) and a lovely fenced in backyard.

The kitchen was already fixed up and this home comes with appliances.

I even ‘selfied’ in the master bedroom.  It’s a fantastic mirror–ha! We checked in on the house and I couldn’t help it.

Even the front walkway is super inviting! It needs a little love, but that’s the fun part for a buyer.

The other perk is that it’s literally right down the road from some nice restaurants and the new I-sqaure district.

We offer a $250 referral as a thank you, to anyone who sends us a purchasing buyer.

Check out our website at http://www.585renttoown.com/

Father’s Day and Family Time

Father’s Day is the last day of the “Tent Sale” and Joe gets to wake up and go move cars at 6:30 am.  Super fun!! He does get out early though so that’s always nice.  We kept things simple and got to visit my dad up at the hospital for a bit.  He was in good spirits and happy to see us.

We came back home and the kids played outside, Joe relaxed and watched them while I made dinner.  We tend to keep gifts simple on Mother’s Day/Father’s Day and I kind of let the kids pick out what they wanted to get him.

They settled on a Bocce set, which they’ve already played and loved! I guess Brooke is actually quite good and gave Daddy a run for his money!

I opted for a letter …I read it to him after dinner and may have caused some (happy) tears.  I needed to let him know how much we appreciate him and love him.  I couldn’t find a card that said all that needed to be said.

I wanted to make something new and special, since it was the first homemade meal in a long time for my honey and I know how much he loves lobster & pasta…so enter a Giada meal!  She never seems to disappoint.

Creamy Lobster Linguine Recipe

I added extra bacon (duh) and I cooked up 4 lobster tails.  The kids don’t seem to be in the mood for red sauce lately, so I served theirs ‘deconstructed’ with plain noodles and just pieces of bacon and lobster.  They loved the lobster!!

I also made Giada’s Baked Caprese Salad

It was heavenly and the Tarragon really gave it a special flavor.  Joe ate it for lunch and dinner the next day!!  (totally worth pausing the cleanse for!)

His first night off we went to one of our favorite local Italian restaurants.  Mr Dominics

The lobster risotto was good, a tad bit too much pepper for my liking though.

The kids missed him something fierce!

After dinner we walked the beach and let the kids just play.

We are getting them ready for our big beach vacation later on in the summer!

Not gonna lie, after solo parenting two weeks straight, this mama enjoyed some Sauvingon Blanc and a time out watching her loves.

We are happy to have Daddy home and looking forward to an amazing Summer 2018.