Friday Faves

Hey friends! I hope you are all well. I wanted to share a few favorites lately.  We haven’t done much other than work, sleep, beach haha but I am not mad about it! 

1. I am loving all positive mantras and things!  This crazy time of our lives is something for the books I tell ya!  I have been staying off news channels and most of social media (unless I’m connecting with like-minded people and sharing our business!) I can’t tell you HOW MUCH THAT MATTERS!  When I log into FB and see the ranting, raving, the mask discussions, political this and that–#overit

I focus on my family, health, finances and that is about it! I’m really loving instagram and finding fellow real estate investors across the country who are focused on their goals and not worrying so much about whether or not someone where’s a mask in their car.  (It’s really none of our business!)

2.  I tried Hello Fresh for the last two weeks and all I can say is, YES!! Yes it is worth the money, yes it is worth not being stressed out to figure out “What do I cook for dinner?!” You guys, I was literally turning to frozen meals 1-3x a week because the state of our life is so chaotic right now.  I can only attribute it to “birthing a baby” in a sense.  When you own your own business and work for yourselves, and then GROW said business, it’s overwhelming.  I know when we get all systems up and running, it will be grand but for now–it’s fasten your seatbelts and GO TIME. 

With that said, we have tried things we haven’t really done before (or in a long time!).  I’ve learned a few little hacks which are always to have on hand!  Last night we did burgers with onion/tomato jam, and a delicious mayo/sour cream/roasted garlic spread….TO DIE FOR with the homemade potato fries!

Here we did the mozzarella/panko chicken breasts— SO easy and yummy!! Green beans and couscous came in the meal, and I threw in extra bread sticks from Aldi, because my kiddos love them.  

Here’s a link for $40 off your box!! 

3. My birthday last week!!  I spent the day in the sun with my sis and my neighbor came over as we all hung out in the driveway. It was a beautiful day!

How cool is this candle from my Dad & step mom?

My sis knows me SO well–pretty pink wrapping, a bottle of Rosé, Starbucks gift card and a fabulous candle too!!  My mom gifted me some birthday money and I treated myself to a brand new Robe.

4.  I enjoyed these Hey Mama rosé in a can!  They DO pack a punch….you can’t drink too many because it has a lot of alcohol, so careful on that one! You can order some here.  Be sure to use my code JENND10 for a coupon!  I also love this suit from Venus and my necklace isS&D. My sunnies are Ray Bans, but I found these cute dupes on Amazon for under $20!!!!

5.  I’m obsessed with this lipstick and lip gloss !! It’s my daily go to and I just love the feel and haven’t had any issues with dry lips–wahoo!!

 

Tell me, what are you loving lately!?

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.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links. My blog would make a small portion. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

Five on Friday!

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TGIF!! Man I miss those silly shows from when I was a kid!  Full House was much jam— I wanted to be DJ Tanner. 
Anyway, on today’s agenda:  Fast until my ultrasound.  I’ve still been dealing with digestive issues and in my gut (pun intended) I don’t think I have “GERD.” I have been really watching what I eat, writing down how I feel after and I’ve made some changes.  I’ve noticed fatty/fried foods really bother me (eggs, bacon, ham, etc) so I’ve cut those out.  I’ve gone a bit plant based, no/low fat dairy, and gluten free this week.  I feel better than I have in weeks, so I’m gonna keep at this, while getting my insides checked out.  Both my mom and grandma had their gallbladders removed, and while I’ve never had an “attack” bad enough where I’ve been in the hospital, I’d like to be safe than sorry.  I went off Prevacid (as I don’t think I have an acid problem and I felt AWFUL on that medicine last week.)  I never know who reads this little blog, but maybe you’re experiencing issues, or have, and for that I share.  Last week a friend reached out and told me her doc said it was reflux, but it turns out she had her gallbladder removed and has felt so much better.  Lesson: advocate for your body, and figure it out no matter what!
Ok moving on to the fun things like this:
1. Skinnytaste homemade EASY bagels!My friend Alison brought her kids over yesterday and these delicious *gluten free bagels!  I went with this vegan cream cheese and it did not disappoint!! These were such a treat. I will be attempting them in the future! I’d eat one now, but-fasting.

2.  I’m looking for a vanity mirror for the bathroom at our current rehab.  Shelf or no shelf?  Both are on Amazon. 

 

 

 

Or 
3. These hot little Vince Camuto shoes were $35 on sale! I know it’s 17 degrees and there’s snow on the ground, but these give me hope that soon it won’t be so frigid! They are the perfect height and I think they’ll go well with leggings, skinny jeans, skirts, dresses…fun shorts, you name it! Hurry up Spring/Summer!  I saw Jena Green with them on the gram and had to have them.  She suggested to size down, and I agree. I’m normally a 9, but 8.5 was perfect.
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4.  I’m currently reading these two books.  One for fun, one for leadership.  I have only gotten a few pages into them, so I can’t say much!

 

5.  Life has a funny way of just throwing TOTALLY unexpected curveballs atcha.  I am a planner. I am an 8.  I am someone who likes to be in control, know things, have an outline, a goal mapped out.  But sometimes the universe, God and everything else conspires for a greater good.  I have no idea what is literally happening tomorrow it seems, but I trust and lay my faith down that everything will work out as it’s supposed to. I don’t meant to “vague-blog” but I just can’t say much because, well I don’t know much.  I believe great things are going to happen.  I am working on leaning into an abundance mindset and I just know that I am so grateful for my children, my husband, my current home, and our health.  With our love, all things are possible.

 

 

Make today utterly fabulous!! 

 

**This post contains affiliate links.  As always, thanks for supporting my blog!

Wordless Wednesday