5 on Friday

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Brookie Cookie

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

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

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

Recipe here:

Brookie Cookie {Gluten Free!}

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

Feel Good Moments

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

 

Daddy & Brooke are becoming quite competitive.

 

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

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

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

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

4 apples

4-5 celery stalks. 

4 inches of ginger.

Juice. 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

15 Questions: Get to Know Me!

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

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

Ok onto the questions!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Friday and stay healthy!

Amazon Wishlist

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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