Friday Favorites (May Favorites)

I thought I’d just wrap May up in a big bow, since I barely blogged at all– oy! It’s all good. May started off with snow and cold, but here we are enjoying 90 degree days the last few!  So many great things happening around here, and as always I choose to focus on the bright spots.  Life is too short to only see the bad…so here are my favorites from the month! (Totally random by the way…)

I enjoyed this cute chick lit read!  It was my favorite from this author duo, but I still finished it and walked away fairly pleased.

This month has been a HUGE growth (mindset) for me.  It’s so true, if you feel like quitting, DON’T!!! Just keep going.  You are probably closer to where you want to be than you realize! I know it’s a crazy time right now, but NOW is the time you must take massive action and not rest (too much.) So many people are sleeping through life and missing out on making dreams come true.  Don’t let that happen to you!

Joe and I have still been doing our weekly lives on our Facebook & Instagram 585 Rent to Own pages.  Yesterday’s was SO much fun.  We shared our top 3 pieces of advice if you want to stop renting and start owning!  We are going to start going live on our Buying page next week as well.  We need to help as many folks as we can!

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This happened. Cue. The. Tears.  Bradley’s Pre-K teacher came to snap a few photos of him and the grad cap/gown.  Usually the kids get their photos done professionally but since the virus happened, photos did not.  I did not get to see Brooke in hers in real life, only in the photos so my mama heart had a small moment of sadness and also excitement! What a ride motherhood is!

The weather started getting nice and warm FINALLY!!   The fort thing never gets old.

This was a “Scavenger Hunt” activity.  Brooke’s teacher posted it as an assignment, so I need to make more of these!

Super simple: 

Find an object to put on your head.

Find something green.

Find a photo of your family.

Find your favorite thing.

My Sunny Bike came and I have ridden it the past 10 days!! Woot!

I’m still juicing my celery; not every day because I just can’t keep going to the store so much, but I’m on an every other day deal.  It has helped my gut SO much.

Haircuts happened for the boys!

I’ve gotta say the hot weather has been the BEST thing about May!! We can finally go outside and not only not freeze, but actually be nice and warm!  The kiddos are still adjusting but the ice pops always help! 

We took a little drive and walked around by High Falls one warm day and little man decided to wear daddy’s old button up shirt. He tried it on for his Pre-K graduation (we may be gathering in a parking lot to at least clap for every kid, we’re not sure) but he is so cute when he’s wearing it!

Warm weather = lots of grilling meals!  We just set up shop outside and eat around the grill, it’s the best! Grass fed beef with a slice of Swiss on lettuce for me!  Don’t forget the ketchup, mustard, pickle!

I also shared an easy family favorite on IGTV as well! I made Everything But the Bagel Green Beans &   Giada’s Turkey Meatlaof .  I thought it’d be fun to share more on Instagram so feel free to follow along! Jenn’s Instagram

I had extra hot dog buns so I did butter them and added Garlic Garlic Tastefully Simple seasoning and broiled for Joe & kids.

A side of Rice

My dinner! I did enjoy some Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing.

Be sure to check out my video for a few swaps!

And this just made me chuckle. I was such a Sesame Street kid growing up, this just seems so fitting for this crazy year that is, 2020.

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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! 

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!

Friday Favorites

Happy Good Friday! It’s currently snowing here in New York..awesome.  The weather has been less than lately, so we’ve done a lot indoors (with the exception of one day at the land this week!) So I thought I’d share some of what we are loving around here lately!

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1. We tried out Disney + this week and it was cool.  I don’t see us keeping this subscription but it was nice to watch a few movies on.  The kids had never seen Frozen II so that was the main reason, but I also kept seeing moms on Facebook talk about this other movie being really good, so we had a family movie night and watched it.  I am very emotional and sensitive and may cry more than the average person, but this move tugs at your heartstrings!  The whole story was based on how the boys had lost their dad (the youngest one never met him) and they were on a quest to basically help bring him back for the day with this magic spell.  I know it sounds a tad out there, but really if you look past the magical component, the messages were great.  Cue the tears and the kids actually requested we watch it AGAIN last night, so I highly suggest it for kids of all ages.

2.   Real Estate

If there were ever a time to be “sharpening the saw” I would say now is it.  I had a bit of a rough patch last week mentally/emotionally but I worked through the Corona Funk and now working harder than ever. Joe and I have had our real estate business for years now, but with the way the economy is, (and where it is going) we are bound and determined to be able to help as many people as possible.  We have creative ways to help folks out who are paying unwanted mortgages. There are so many sellers out there who need help and I feel like now that I’ve gotten real quiet, prayed and focused, I hear you God.  I feel the call and know that we are needed more than ever.  I still have a lot to learn, but I have a pretty kick ass teacher/mentor/coach.  He’s not easy on me, but he knows his stuff.  Thank you Joe!

3.  I’m currently reading/listening to a few books.  Shocking, I know! 😉

For fun I picked up J Simp’s book at the library pre-lockdown.  It’s a big one, as it’s her life story.  She writes like she talks and I would bet that she pieced together a lot of her journal entries. It’s kinda cool to read how she grew up and I’m only at the part where she has just met Nick Lachey and how she knew she was gonna marry him.  I feel like since she’s only a year older than me, I can relate to some of what she went through. (Clearly not the pop star icon bit, but you know…) She also opened up in the beginning about how her dad told her in the hospital literally as she’s about to give birth to her first baby that he was divorcing her mom.  She put into words exactly how I felt–all the visions of her parents being the grandparents to her own kids was ripped out from under her.  I can personally say that took some time to really come to terms with.  When we have  expectations, it’s hard when we are disappointed, regardless of what’s best for whom, it’s okay and necessary to allow yourself to grieve, feel the feelings, forgive and move on.

I am listening to Dave’s book on audio. It has good parts, but I’ve read both of Rachel’s books and listen to them daily, so I can’t say it has ‘moved me’ much.  Plus, I’m not a skeptic and I know that I am in my own way so I constantly am working on myself.  It does bring up great points and I just listened to parts of it where it talked about our love languages and relationships (especially marriage). We can be so different and hard on ourselves and particularly our spouses, so it’s important to step back and think about what the other person truly needs, not what we think they need.  Talk about a gut check in a time like now where we are together 24/7!


The third book I am reading is my personal development book I like to read in the morning.  I bought it awhile back and figured now is as good a time as any to pick it back up.  It’s based on Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich (which he wrote during the Great Depression) but it’s written more geared towards women because we truly are different creatures! It’s fun to be able to talk to Joe about what I’ve read as well because to him, TAGR is his bible.  I also love that it starts each chapter with a quote; the last chapter I read started with the good old, “When you know better, you do better.” – Maya Angelou


4. In “homeschooling”news aka keep your kids happy and busy, my sweet friend Alison dropped off some items her kids outgrew and my kids LOVED!!

2 hours.  Yup.  2 hours my kids played with this stuff! I loved seeing them be creative and play together so well.  I pulled out some of the playdough toys and they were set.  They’ve actually played with it a few times now and for $9 I’m sorry I didn’t buy it myself sooner! It’s not that messy really and cleans up really easily.

Another item was. “Busy Box” which was just a big old box of crafts and ideas.  We have some stuff but this was awesome. I will say Bradley has no real interest in it, but Brookie is just loving it.  She wants me to sit and craft with her so we will do that today or tomorrow.  If you don’t have a big craft stash or need to replenish, definitely check this out! Then head to You Tube or Pinterest to get more ideas.

5.  My favorite day this week was getting outside and walking our land.  The sun was out and we didn’t need coats.  I love watching them follow Daddy and we explored the trails.  We are excited for more consistent nice weather and to get out here more often.  Maybe pack a picnic lunch, build a fire and roast some hot dogs and just spend the day.  Heck, maybe we’ll buy a tent and camp out! So grateful that Joe and company have cleared the trails so we can easily walk through.

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