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!

Aldi’s Grocery Haul

Happy Wednesday!

I decided to record a quick little video of what I just bought at our local Aldi’s.  If you haven’t shopped at one lately, or ever, you are missing out!! I can fill my cart and feed my family (and all of our crazy dietary needs) on a budget.  In today’s haul I spent $127 and I am certain that it would have been close to $300 at our other store.

As I have shared a little, I have been having weird digestive issues and stomach pains on and off for a few months.  Back in 2016 I felt very similar to this, had the same procedures done and somehow through diet, exercise and luck? I overcame my issues and haven’t really had any problems until this past October after our trip to NOLA.

Granted, I am now 38 and in a separate blog post I’ll go into more about this, but I am considered “Perimenopausal.” I know.

So, long story short, since my Endoscopy was totally fine (some stomach irritation)—Prevacid made me worse, and then my recent Ultrasound shows NO issues whatsoever, I feel as though I’m left to my own devices to figure out how to properly fuel my body and feel better.

Hence, about a week ago I’ve been trying to go Gluten and Dairy Free.  Now, I am not allergic to Gluten nor to I have an intolerance to dairy, but the pains and gas pressure in my stomach along with feeling bloated, tired, irritable and just miserable for a bit have caused me to say enough is enough!  In this haul I share some Gluten Free finds and also some great deals on things like Cage Free Organic Eggs.

My husband has Crohn’s and obviously my kids are little, so dinners are a bit of a 3 ring circus but I’m determined to help all of us live our best lives.

Do you have an Aldi favorite? I am obsessed with some of their GF chips and crackers dipped with hummus.  I’m not a huge sweets person, but I got some to try! I’ll report back later.

Enjoy!

 

PS

In the video I mention Tiffany Beaston–here is a link for her You Tube video and the “Marry Me Chicken”.  I just love her channel!

 

 

Weekend Wrap Up & Menu for the Week

Happy Monday!

I figured I’d share a few tidbits from our February break weekend as well as my menu for the week!  I am still doing Gluten Free (for me) but I’m experimenting a little with dairy… I’ve been watching a ton of You Tube videos of other healthy ladies who have had similar digestive issues as myself, and they have found that going GF and even Dairy Free has helped them feel so much better.  I have been feeling pretty well, but not 100%.  I’m not going to give up yet and since meds haven’t helped, I am simply listening to my body and trying to give it what it needs.

We’ll start with this week’s menu, shall we?  All recipes are linked!

Sheet Pan Beef & Broccoli

Shrimp Scampi (Instant Pot)

Baked Scallops

Veggie Quinoa Soup  (Slow Cooker)

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili

I saw Jordan Page post this recipe and I may try it for the kiddos.  Sometimes we have lots of fruit going quickly, so it maybe nice to Some of those may end up being lunches or just food for me, as Joe’s diet is low fiber and lots of carbs.  I’m getting used to the 3 ring circus that is dinner some nights.  I don’t expect my family to eat no gluten, and on pasta nights, I can either sub zucchini noodles (zoodles) or GF pasta or rice. Simple!  I am not one to give up carbs totally, so I’m trying to take on this GF thing as something new and exciting…rather than omg it’s so hard and more work.  Being pain free to me is 100% worth it!

As always, if need be there’s always these as back up options:

Taco Night (I use ground beef, turkey, or chicken and taco seasoning. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, rice, beans, tortilla shells.) It’s a fam fave.

Breakfast for dinner (usually waffles, pancakes or eggs)

Leftovers

Ok moving on to some randoms from the weekend!

I just LOVE this green juice.  It has a whole bunch of goodness in it and my body actually craves it.

Friday the boys got hair cuts and look so cute!

After that we hit up the Outlet Mall for some new clothes for Joe.  Mama may have scored a few things too!  This CK hoodie was on sale for $14.99. I LOVE the neon!

Miss Brooke insisted that we stop at Justice and she picked out a few things as well.  I already miss that she’s back in school full time.  She’s growing up so fast!

Saturday night was low key; Joe built us a fire and Holly snuggled near it.

These two pretended to like each other for a few minutes…

Sunday brought more sunshine and I felt the need to purge all the things.  While doing so, I watched this documentary on Netflix.  The power of our minds and how to heal our bodies.  It all fascinates me and I do believe in the power of our thoughts. Have you seen it?

Look at it still being LIGHT outside during dinner Sunday night!!  (Smoked/Grilled Wings for the win!!)

I gotta say I was awesome at my workouts last week! I made it to the gym 4x with the kiddos.  Saturday I did the bike and triceps/biceps.

I also baked my babies some chocolate chip cookies! I used the back of the Wegmans brand chocolate chips recipe. 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes had these babies crisping up! I took some out around the 8 minute mark so they’d be chewy for Joe. I had a tiny nibble, but don’t want to upset my stomach so I refrained.  Any good GF sweet treats you could share?

I also got to chat with my mom a little bit.  She just launched a blog for her Life Coaching business!  Check it out.

Mom’s Blog!

I hope all of you have a great week.  Remember: start before you are ready and that DONE is better than PERFECT.

I confess…

…7 years into this mom thing I still feel like I don’t have it all figured out & I know I probably never will!

…my office views are pretty spectacular today, as I sit in my jammies, slippers and sweatshirt sipping on a Starbucks and see the beautiful white snow covered ground.

…I love that my daughter’s school has a “Books & Breakfast” program.  Once a month she goes to school early, Joe takes her, and then he gets to treat himself to some Chic-Fil-A breakfast sandwich.

…we are taking the kids to see Dinosaur Live Tour tonight and they are pumped!

…I am not looking forward to fasting/doing an endoscopy but I welcome all positive prayers and vibes that my esophagus looks well and that I won’t need any crazy medication.

….we had some of our renters become homeowners yesterday! It’s so exciting.

…as pretty as the snow is, I really miss the hot sun, sweating and feeling warm wind in my face.

…I am currently looking for my first 5k.  I am not a runner, but I’ve always wanted to do one, and some people say they’re easy, but I have never in my life run 3 miles at once, so I’m excited for this journey!

…I have been reading some amazing books lately!  I am already putting together a blog post about them.  Thrillers and crazy people…good times!

…I’ve started setting my alarm for 5:50 and I have actually been getting up.

…we still don’t want to talk about the Super Bowl.

….Rachel Hollis continues to motivate me daily.  Have you moved your body for 30 minutes today? I did yoga.

…Bailey is seriously just like a toddler.  At 2, she can be so sweet and snuggly, sleeping quietly and the next minute, she’s tearing up garbage from a bathroom or running around with someone’s shoe.

…I tried to use a check from our Business account at the store the other week and their machine ate the check because, “Who even uses checks any more?” #oops

…when I physically write, I place the pen in my right hand, on my ring finger…I feel like that’s weird?

…so far February has made me push out of my comfort zone a bit and it’s uncomfortable, but that is good!!

…I am not sure what to make for our Valentine’s Day menu with the kiddos.  Any ideas?!

…I love all the red & pink hearts this month.  Yay for love!

…my Roomba broke—help! It ran over a floor register and a piece snapped.

…I’m looking forward to having both kids home February break! I love them here.

Weekend Vibes

Friday was little man’s BIG 5 year birthday!! Both of us were able to go into his preschool class and help out.  They kept us busy!

He got to blow out the 5 year old candle as we sang happy birthday one last time…

After preschool we took Bradley to get his “Ham and Cheese Broissant” and Joe and I grabbed lunch downtown.  We then hit up Home Depot for a new rug & lamp!  With real fires, the logs can roll out and splatter ashes/pieces onto the rug and it ruined the old one.  I am trying to preserve this one by keeping an older rug on top!  I love the look of it.

We had to grab a new lamp too because the base of our old one shattered and was a mess every time I went to move it.  When I saw this one I got a little too excited, as there is a reading lamp!  Our high ceilings make it hard to keep it bright in the living room so this white is perfect!

When Brookie got home we then hit up good old Chuck E Cheese for some birthday fun!  We all had a ball playing games, eating pizza and drinking fountain drinks.  We need to do more outings like this in the Winter!

And before bed, I had “my baby is 5 cry”.  It happened with Brooke and I knew it was a matter of time, and I made him come over and snuggle with me a few minutes…how on earth has 5 years gone by so fast? So much has changed and I am so grateful to be your mommy Bradley boo!  You love playing video games, but you also love running around pretending you’re playing football.  You love curling up with Bailey on the couch and watching Bluey with your sister.  You’re my little buddy and I’m not quite sure what my life will be like when you go off to school full day.  I know it will be great for you, but goodness you keep me on my toes every day!  I love you so much baby boy.  You can be a complete goofball or super sensitive, serious and sweet.  You’re my little bubba-dooz.  I love you!

I am missing the kids as I drove out to my dad’s in a snowstorm to drop the kids off so they could watch them so Joe could have a colonoscopy done.  (that Crohn’s life) I was happy to make it home and put my feet on the ground because that drive was NOT FUN!

 

Saturday night I made a yummy dinner–an oldie but goodie! I’ll share the recipe this week.  Vodka Penné on a cold night is divine! We celebrated our “12 years” together anniversary by the fire and wrote down some dreams to be tucked away and opened again in 5 more years.

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I’ve been focusing on my workouts more (I need it more emotionally/mentally than physically I think!!) I love this quote.

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Sunday we took an old “Jenn and Joe Sunday drive” and checked on the two houses we are fixing up.  I’m so excited as both kitchens are super gorgeous!

This flooring is stunning!  I’ll share more in depth on the kitchen renovations in an upcoming blog.

I supported my friend Cathy as she is donating to the Ronald McDonald House.  I love giving and the beer bread and soup is such a tasty meal!  You can give too if you would like, Paypal Cathy at: cagallag235@gmail.com

And we ended our weekend with watching our boys win their game against the Packers!  Onto the Super Bowl we go!  I can’t wait to see them take on the KC Cheifs!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  As my 5 year old said, “He had a dream and it was that we be nice to everyone no matter what.”  Good advice little dude as I am always striving to be nice, no matter what.