If I’m Being Honest…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rachel Hollis

Cambria Joy

How Jen Does it

Gabby Bernstein

Elena Cardone

2. Sweat.  Need ideas?

Tone it Up (You Tube and Free app)

Peleton (going to try)

Beachbody on Demand

 

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

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

Wellness Remodel

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

Spring Holidays & Decorating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vodka

Part pineapple juice

Champagne

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

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

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

hyacinths-marcin_jucha_ss 

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

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

Easter Basket Fingerprint Craft

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

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

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

For this activity you will need:

Draw a basket or Print a copy here.

Fingerprint Easter Basket

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

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

Your kids’ fingers to paint with!

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

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

Friday Favorites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

That Self-Isolation Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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