Show us Your Books Link up

Life According to Steph

 

Happy Tuesday!!

I’m so stinkin excited to be linking up today with Steph and this book link up.  I haven’t shared my books that I’ve read so far all in one blog, so I thought it’d be good to start! Hopefully it will continue to inspire me to hit my goal of reading 52 books this year.

I have finished 18 books so far; some have been audiobooks and some I have actually read.  I hope to actually sit and read more in the Summer months, but I am happy so far with the progress I have made.

If you’re interested in following my reading journey, checkout my Instagram and look under my book highlight to see what I’ve read!

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This book came highly recommended and it was a quick listen.  I think it was a bit over-played, as it didn’t exactly live up the the hype, but I can see how it rocked the YA world.

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This was a great and fast listen!! A retired US Navy Seal shares his insights on how to have continued success by doing the simplest of things.  Great motivation!

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I do love Kristin Hannah’s style writing, and this did not disappoint.  If you enjoy reading about survival in Alaska, plus mix in a father who battles a severe mental disorder and a wife/mom who pretty much refuses to leave his side, you will enjoy this book.  The character reminds me a bit of the memoir Educated but it has its own twists and turns.

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I thought this would be a really great suspenseful page turner—it wasn’t.  Between the British verbiage and it being a slow go, I wasn’t super impressed.  My bestie and I were determined to finish it though, and we did!

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This has been on my TBR list forever and it was good!! I feel like Brene drops truth bombs like the best of them, and this book was a good listen to boost your sense of authenticity and desire to open up more.  Can’t go wrong with Brown’s work!

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Good old Rachel Hollis recommended this one to me, and it was an okay read.  Not much ground breaking and she lost me in some of her religion chapters—just not my thing.  It definitely is good to hear other mamas say it’s ok to slow down and to stop trying to be so perfect–so if you’re feeling a little lost and lonely as a mom, this may be worth picking up.

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Switching gears a bit, I listened to this in hopes to really broaden my financial horizons.  Unfortunately I didn’t pick up anything terribly new and I told my husband he could have written a better book.   It was cool to hear about our business (rent to own/lease option) and how we’re definitely being smart with our money and investments rather than having all liabilities.

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This was an Advanced Reader copy and gosh, how incredible!!  The love story, the mother/daughter relationship, family genes…and even a bit of a twist with some history (9/11) playing a role.  This was beautifully told and not something I would normally pick up, so I am so happy I was given a copy!  Great writing style too…loved it!

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Our book club picked this kidnapping mystery and it was a bit gory for me but I plowed through!  It took a bit for me to get into, but once I was in, I literally stayed up until 1am to finish it.

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LOVED this one!! It’s cheesy, and not incredibly written but boy did it bring me right back to college and all the feels of thinking about boys and dating, parties, fitting in, etc.   Most of us have had at least one (or a few) boyfriends that just didn’t deserve the time of day after the first (or 5th) breakup.  Super quick read, probably great for the beach!  I enjoyed getting lost in this story.

Aw, yeah!! GWYF (Girl Wash Your Face) was a great little appetizer, but Rachel brings out the big guns in this one.  Most of you won’t be ready to hear what she has to say, or disagree with most of it.  But some of us?  We get it, and thank you Rachel for always pushing us to be better than we were before.

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Oh this little tiny gem of a book! If you sell anything, GRAB YOURSELF A COPY!!

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This was an ok listen.  Nothing really standing out to me weeks later, but it had some good info.  I feel like most PD books are repeating themselves so I have taken a little break from them…

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Loved this one!! I have described it as a ‘slow burn’ but I really enjoyed the way it was written!  All of the band members tell the story and it’s all sex drugs and rock and roll.

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Before my “PD break” I did listen to this one…he does a great job at explaining why some companies (Google, WalMart, Apple) succeed and why others don’t.  I appreciated it as a business owner and would recommend it if you enjoy learning about the science behind how the brain works etc.

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Love and Other Words—ahhh.  A super great listen, but it has some plot twists that make your head spin!  True love, the loss of a parent, and other tangled pieces create this story.  If you’re traveling, scoop this up on audio!

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Lastly, I just discovered the app HOOPLA which provides more free titles through the library.  My bestie finished this over her Spring break and legit had a book hangover for weeks, so I knew I had to read this.  15 hours and I was done within days you guys! Historical fiction, WWI & II–these characters’ lives intertwine and you learn some real crazy from the point of view of a woman spy.  Must read!!

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What have you been reading?!

Mother’s Day Weekend

Friday was a date day!! Yippeee!  Joe and I had a few things to do, but we were able take some much needed kid free time and enjoy ourselves as well.  We were able to use up some gift cards at the mall and found some amazing deals on shoes, and enjoyed a quick lunch at Champps.

After that we were excited to check out this place!  They have fun smoothies and drinks and you can add CBD to them.

I had this lovely lemon ginger elixir and picked up some almond butter with CBD.

The kiddos both gave me their mother’s day gifts early so they wouldn’t die! Brooke grew this sunflower at school and drew an adorable drawing on this bag.

Bradley had Joe come in as his special person and help him plant this for me.

I just love these little gifts!

We also hit up Walmart Friday for new bikes for the kiddos, had a Polish dinner at some friends and picked up some herbs for the Summer.  Joe planted the basil in this box.

I also grabbed a few hanging plants for our deck; pink is always my favorite!

The sun was out a bit Saturday and though it was chilly, it was nice!

I try to stick with semi-shade plants since we don’t get a ton of sun when the trees fill in.

I thought this planter was cute!

Joe planted some of these pansies from the preschool fundraiser; aren’t they so pretty?  He also left the house around 9:15 Saturday and ran errands until around 4pm–I was able to work on my blog, life coaching and catch up on some of the dishes etc.

More herbs!

For dinner we tried out some drumsticks in the smoker (they were okay) and I did a little caprese salad and naan pizzas.

Sunday we went over to to see my Step-mom and to our surprise, my step-brother Tyler had flown home for Mother’s Day!  I didn’t snap may photos, as we were all catching up etc. but I did grab one of my little guy and I.

And the one who made me a mommy!

We got home just in time for Joe to cook up some dinner; I was craving Sirloin burgers and man he didn’t disappoint!  Toasted Brioche buns, smoked bacon, avocado and an egg.

Dreams are made of this ladies and gentlemen!!

I was able to end my day with a little rosé and while I did read this book a bit, I also finished up The Alice Network audiobook.  I can’t wait until the sun comes back out and I can do some reading out on our gorgeous deck!!

It was a great mix of Joe & Jenn time, alone time and family time this weekend.  Never long enough, I always want everyone around just a little more!! This weather is supposed to warm up towards the end of the week, but I fear I may have to bring in all of my plants as I read/heard the SNOW word.  Goodness.

I hope you had a great weekend and an amazing week ahead!!

Wellness Wednesday: Trusting the Process

Well, 8 days in and ish started getting hard.

I was able to keep up with most of my coaching work on a daily basis, despite going away to Toronto.  Luckily we had some down time in our gorgeous suite in the hotel.  I plugged in my headphones and made it work! It’s so so easy to quit when things get hard, but I promised myself to focus these 21 days and get it done!

My overall goal is to create a better work/life blend and to not be so stressed out and feel so chaotic.  I don’t like the stress that it creates and neither does my body!  I absolutely love my life, but I don’t like feeling spun out of control.

So how am I doing with that?  Ehhhh to be totally transparent and honest, I don’t feel like I’m doing that great.  I yelled Tuesday. (So much for being calm amongst the chaos).  I felt like that meme where Mary Poppins is all, “Let’s go!” and then 20 minutes later Batman voice yells “LET’S GOOOOOO!!”  It was a crazy early morning as Bradley had his final “Helper Day” at preschool, which I still had to buy snacks/drinks for AND I had his parent conference at 8:30.  Since I had made a choice to go to a favorite workout class the night before at 6pm, it made for a later bedtime.  I solo parent on some evenings as per my husband’s schedule, and for the last 6 years, I pretty much let the kids’ dictate my routine.  Well, since I’ve started putting ME first a few times more, it’s an adjustment for ALL.  I sometimes feel counter-productive, as in maybe if I just do what is always best for kids and husband, then I can keep the peace…but the reality is, I feel like I’ve woken up to a new light.  What if I die tomorrow? Did I get to do what I wanted to do?  I get that being a parent is all about selfless-ness and giving, giving, giving even when you don’t feel like giving any more, but I also see the need to fill my cup.

I used to think filling my cup was a once in awhile thing.  But I’m realizing I do need to give more attention to me, a lot more.  The “Do You List” has been SO helpful.  It’s been eye opening because I’ve noticed that I don’t feel guilty when I do the dishes, fold the laundry, clean the rooms, scrub the toilets, braid the hair, brush the teeth, iron the work clothes, cook the eggs, do the grocery shopping, prepare the meals, walk the dog, work on real estate, cuddle…but when I consistently do things that make me, just Jenn, not anyone else, happy, I feel bad. So I am learning to push through that uncomfortable feeling and see where it takes me. ** This is what Lindsay would refer to as your IMG (Inner Mean Girl) I didn’t think I had any (haha!) but once I listened to her videos, took notes and reflected I realized I am so a people pleaser and then some.

I’ve created my daily habit of meditating 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night.  I find the morning to be harder than night–I actually love listening to a meditation and falling into a nice quiet sleep…I am also noticing perhaps I would do better with a mid-day meditation?  I may play around with this.  My morning routine is not exactly pristine.  My body is fighting me for sleep!! (I’m blaming the uber hard workouts I do some days!) Either way, I am seeing the need for it. Slowing down is helping me A LOT!

I’ve also started saying a daily mantra: I live a calm and intentional life.  (I’m finding Rachel Hollis’ Start Today Journal methods kind of intertwining here!) Basically, you say things in present tense, as if they’re already happening.  There’s a huge brain connection (I’m not getting scientific here, but there’s huge research done on this!) Lindsay does a great job at explaining it in her course, so it’s not all hokey!

So all in all, in just a week I’m noticing huge differences! Even though I felt like I was struggling a bit yesterday (Tuesday) I love that Lindsay has a closed Facebook group where we can share our thoughts.  We were to share what we are grateful for, so I did, but I also was real and said how things were getting hard.  Her response, “I know you want things to change now, but it’s a process. Just keep showing up like you’re doing (even though you feel overwhelmed I know) and it will get better.”  I know that I needed to hear that because I always want to rush things and sometimes, most times, we need to let things go at their own pace and fall into place as they will.  I know I’m so, SO hard on myself and I need to lighten up (a lot.)

All amazing things happen outside of our comfort zone, right?  Well I am certainly stepping out of mine and cannot wait to see what’s to come.  Just don’t quit, right?

Fun Facts Friday

I figured I would just blog a quickie today!! I may have some newer readers around here so I wanted to share some fun facts about moi.

 

  • I’m the oldest of 3 girls
  • I went to a state college for my teaching degree
  • I taught English (grades 7-11 throughout 8 years) and loved it.
  • I met my husband on Match.com and MySpace in 2007 and we actually met and began dating in 2008.
  • We went on a cruise only after knowing each other a month!
  • We bought our first “fixer upper” in 2008.
  • We got married 7.10.10
  • Joe and I honeymooned in Amsterdam, Paris & Rome.
  • We now own 10 properties, plus our home and 20 acres of land to build on.
  • When I no longer wanted to teach, I became a stay at home wife.
  • After trying to conceive since August 2010, we were blessed with our first born on January 11, 2013.
  • She was the perfect baby ringing in 8 lbs 6 ounces!
  • I gained over 70 lbs during pregnancy
  • I became healthier and in better shape than before I got prego (thank you AdvoCare!)
  • 2 years and 6 days later, we welcomed our son into the world at 8 lbs 14 ounces.
  • It was shortly after baby boy that I realized how involved I had to become in our real estate. (All the paperwork!)
  • In 2017 we upped our real estate game and decided to offer rent to own homes.
  • I enjoy cooking gourmet meals.
  • I have no desire to go back to teaching.
  • I want to write multiple books.
  • My favorite color is pink.
  • I prefer cheese pizza over any other kind.
  • I hate sweet wine.
  • I’m obsessed with the moon phases.
  • We will own a lake house one day!
  • I used to hate working out but I really have grown to love it.
  • I kill all plants.
  • My body does best when I eat clean real whole food.
  • Traveling is one my favorite things to do.
  • Reading and writing help me process thoughts so much.
  • Dancing makes my soul feel soul good.
  • I can be shy but I’m pretty funny and outgoing once you get to know me.

Any questions? Ask me anything!

Happy Friday friends!

Podcasts

I absolutely love listening to podcasts! I will admit there’s a part of me that doesn’t like them ONLY because I set high goals to read a lot of books in the year, and even though I’m learning, a podcast is not a book. Maybe I need to set a podcast goal too~ (or not.)

Either way, here are the podcasts you will find on my iphone.

My current listen: this amazing powerhouse of a woman– Lindsay Preston. She’s a life coach helping tons of ladies become better versions of themselves. The free nuggets she gives away on her podcasts are life changing; no joke you’ll feel like you can go out and kick some major butt after one listen!

And she Rises the F Up – this is all about going after what you want, working on your money manifestation and recognizing your higher power. This is probably the newewst podcast I have started to follow. This little lady does NOT keep things PG so it’s an ear bud kind of listen.  She has a lot of solid advice and honestly I feel better about money when listening to her.  Money/finances seem to be such an interesting topic in our society and she helps validate why it’s more than okay to be going after what you want.

Earn Your Happy– I listened to Lori Harder’s book called A Tribe Called Bliss, and it was decent.  This podcasts mimics that and she does have a lot of great people on here that she interviews.  She focuses on self love, really loving life and generally being the best version of yourself.  She’s a badass and wants you to be one too!

The Mentor Podcast- This will fall under the “Real Estate” inventory of my podcasts.  Ron LeGrand is our great mentor and we have learned many a thing from this man! He has a ton of financial gurus, entrepreneurs, real estate experts and just overall another great avenue to learn more from him.  My husband honestly connects with Ron a bit better than I do, but I do learn a lot by listening.

Rise Podcast:  If you’ve been here for awhile, you know me and my girl Rach go way back…to her first book.  I adore her and Dave and listen to them on their daily live FB/Insta stream as well as their different podcasts.  She has wonderful in depth interviews both male and female, and there’s always a good take away from them!  She even reads certain chapters/excerpts of her books, so if you’re on the fence, check out her FREE podcast.  Trust me, you will want to buy them!

 

Real Estate Investing for Women – is exactly what it sounds like.  Often times it seems like real estate is a male dominated community.  I love how she breaks it down and ties in real life women moments, and relates to me on so many levels.  Even if you’re on the fence about dabbling in real estate, it wouldn’t hurt to download this one for free!

The Real Estate Investher Show – clearly another real estate podcast.  I love that this one is two ladies who go back and forth sharing their real stories and also involve guests on their show.  It helps to hear a woman’s perspective, especially married mama!  I sometimes feel like a lunatic and just hearing that there are other ladies feeling the same feels, makes me feel better.  Must listen if you’re looking to grow your finances!!

Style Your Mind- the famous Champagne Diet blogger/author has one of my favorite podcasts. I heard Zig Ziglar say that it’s good to listen to motivation when you’re feeling down, but it’s even MORE worth it when you listen to it feeling great! I try to do that, especially with Cara’s work.  She really gives me a kick in the ass, but also fuels my fire.  I feel like I can go and do whatever next hard thing comes next.

Rise Together- this is Rachel Hollis and her hubby Dave.  They have a great dynamic and I will be honest, I just listen to their daily live streams.  I haven’t listened to this podcast in a few months.  Again, if you love her take charge, no BS approach, this is for you!

Your Virtual Upline– is a must for any direct sales consultant!! I found it through a friend when I was doing Stella & Dot. I have not listened to him in probably close to a year? But he does add a lot of value.  Great content and I always took away some sort of nugget.

The Sandwhich – Amanda Muse is sooooo down to earth and funny! She’s a Canadian mama of two is a You Tuber and I just love her.  She’s all about #thefutureisfemale and shares her day to day life via vlogs and instagram stories.  Her podcasts allows her to get a little more intimate or in detail on whatever topic she feels like discussing.  She is so body confident and sharing how important it is to just be happy no matter what.

The Melissa Ambrossini Show- Author of Mastering your Inner Mean Girl, she is also a fantastic motivating listen!  I love hearing stories of her and her guests.  She focuses on finding motivation no matter what!  I need to listen more…

Time to Parent- To be 100% honest, I have no flipping clue. I must have downloaded this because someone I trust recommended.  Have you? LOL

 

Happier–  We all know Gretchen as the happiness guru.  That’s as far as I’ve gotten!

Dirty John – Again, heard it was great, no clue why, haven’t listened.

Wayne Dyer– he passed a few years back, but from time I really feel the need to hear his voice, soak up his wisdom.  He is definitely one of the many keys that I feel help “open me” up to self-improvement.

Sex with Emily– pretty straight forward, I don’t think I need to explain much.  She talks about sex etc.

 

Oprah Super Soul Conversations:  Oprah is like the mecca of all things great and wonderful.  She is someone that comforts me just by hearing her voice; I think it’s because I grew up hearing her every day around 4pm.  I only wish I listened more to what she was saying!  She’s always suggesting a new read or way of thinking about life. If you’re an Oprah fan, this is for you.

Chalene (Build your Tribe) – I just love her and used to listen to it awhile ago.  She is to the point and full of spunk! She talks a lot about being a great leader etc.

What are some of your favorite podcasts? I feel like I need to find some new ones to add to my list.