Mother’s Day 2018

I still can’t believe that I’ve been a mom for 5 years.  It seems like yesterday I was just meeting Joe, but really that was ten years ago.

Crazy.

Sunday morning Joe got up with the dogs (after miss Bailey woke me up at 4:30!) around 7 and shortly thereafter Bradley woke up and then Brooke.  Joe wanted to go grab some breakfast for us and took Bradley.  It was nice to just lounge in bed with my girl!  Soon the boys were back with breakfast bagel sandwiches and my beloved Green Tea Latte from Starbucks.  It’s one of our favorite little traditions in the Summer–he pops out for a bit and brings back treats.

He knew I was out of my water bottles; I either lose them or I wear them out!! I’m loving the ones that keep your water cold all day.  Thanks babe!

Brooke gave me two cards and a potted plant she made in pre-k. So sweet!

We just had a nice quiet morning; Joe went and visited his grams with Bradley, and I did some dishes and got ready for our outing!

This year I wanted to go out for brunch at one of our favorite restaurants, The Revelry.  My dad, step-mom & sister joined us and it was perfect!  We enjoyed lots of oysters, cornbread, and I ordered mimosas & shrimp and grits.  OMG so GOOD!! Anyone have a good shrimp & grits recipe?? I need to try to make that at home…

The kids were excellent and loving their special tiki drinks, aka pineapple juice.  We went for a little drive afterwards and then home.  Joe took Brooke to grab some dinner items, while I cuddled with Bradley.  Heavenly!  Once he got home, Bradley ran downstairs and I was alone watching Fixer Upper for about an hour.  I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself!  It was weird, but enjoyable.

I came downstairs to quite a spread! My husband had his new smoker going, the grill, stove and sous vide.  Not to mention the chaos that is our children/dogs all together around dinner time.  I definitely giggled as I heard from above the noise.

 

Caprese salad, green beans, sautéd mushrooms, bone marrow with garlic crostini and a dry aged steak we picked up at the meat market down town.  Holy. Cow. It was so amazing! I couldn’t believe how delicious it turned out to be…even down to dessert which was a mini key lime pie he grabbed at Wegmans.

It was a beautiful day; no stress and full of love and relaxation…and full bellies!

The boys.

I am for sure one blessed momma.

Thank you Brooke and Bradley, for making me a better person.  I didn’t know the depths of love and selfless giving until I had you.  You two make our world a much better place by being in it.  Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy.

Meeting The Real Housewives

Saturday night my friend got us tickets to go see some of the Real Housewives at a nearby casino.  We were going to make it a real “Girls Night” and stay in the hotel, have a nice dinner, enjoy the show and SLEEP IN the following morning.  However, #momlife called and Brooke had dance pictures scheduled for 8:30 the next morning. #Awesome.  It’s all good though we made it work!  My amazing husband arranged to get out of work early so that he could drive me (it’s a bit of a drive and I didn’t want to drive home late alone). We had a couples dinner and he played some Blackjack, (and won!) while Ann and I were watching the show. In all honesty, the TV series itself doesn’t do much for me any more…and I can only tolerate it in small amounts, BUT I have always loved me some Teresa Guidice and I may or may not have read/own most of her books!

I decided to bust out the Loubs for this special occasion!

This girl and I have been friends since Freshmen year of college–straight up first day of school we met!  1999…we majored in the same field, Secondary Education English.  She may have taught me how to party and to rock confidence like no other.  I was her maid of honor 13 years ago, and she was mine 8 years this July. We live 2.5 hours apart and between jobs, kids, and life, we rarely get to see each other!! But when we catch up, watch out world!

Ann and her husband Brennan

My sweet hubby!!

Aside from the delicious bottle of Rosé bubbly we shared, and oysters, this dish was outstanding! Lobster, shrimp & scallops in a scampi sauce over asparagus.  I died! I will be recreating this dish in the future!

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We sat 2nd row, yes SECOND row!! She hooked us up with these seats!  The stage was set up much like Live with Andy Cohen and the whole bit was a Q&A sesh with our questions! One of Ann’s questions was picked!

It was pretty entertaining and the crowd was fun.  Teresa, Ashley & Brandi were really down to earth! Ashely is hysterical and Brandi is a bit of a #hotmess but hey, aren’t we all? She is definitely more on the raw/raunchy side.  Teresa was really quite calm and really cool.  She did mention “camp” which I giggled at because, girl, I love ya but jail is jail.  She did say however, she often wonders if she should have done the show or not.  I can’t imagine putting my life on display like that for all to see…it takes guts I tell ya!

We decided right before we went in to do the “meet and greet” which just meant getting a few hugs and photos.  The cost supposedly went to a charity, but when do we ever do stuff like this? Never.  I am not mad about paying a little extra for this experience!

Ann was the first in line to get her photo op!

I can’t remember exactly what we were all laughing at but I could have stood up there and talked to them for awhile!

I really wanted to hug T and I totally #fangirled and told her how I have all her cookbooks and that she’s totally my favorite. As I went to walk away after photos, I did tell her good luck and that she’s a great mom.  Lord knows us mommas always need extra support. With her husband in jail, and just losing her mom, I can’t imagine how hard it must be raising 4 girls on her own.

They were all so nice!  The only bad part was how quick it went! I could have curled up with another glass of bubbly or two…

I think it was Brandi who said something first, but the next thing I knew, they were all complimenting me on my hair! LOL

The all wanted to know who does it and how does it look so healthy! I about died.  I get my hair inspiration FROM The Real Housewives so it made my night.

As I turned to leave Teresa asked, ‘hey what’s your name?!’ I replied, “Jenn!” And they all said, “Bye Jenn!! Thanks for coming!” It was totally cool, I can’t lie!

Thanks again B for an unbelievable night!! I don’t know if we could top this one…but I’m willing to try!

PS we totally went back and forth months on what to wear!! Ann went with a hot little Express lace jumpsuit & red moto jacket & and did my black moto jacket & leggings from Express and Banana Republic top.

Accessories: Stella & Dot baby!

Curling wands = big hair!

Getting a Spray Tan

I figured I would start out the week with a really fluffy post!  I’ll attribute it to my husband and I watching the Jersey Shore Family Vacation last night…what a train wreck! It really opened my eyes as to what on earth was I thinking watching that all of the time?!  We barely turn on the tv and last night, as Joe built a fire (yes, we are still having Winter here in Upstate NY) we just decided we needed to turn our brains off.

Anyway, back to the spray tan–which I would recommend 1000x over and over! Whether you have an event you want to have an extra glow for or you enjoy looking sun-kissed, it’s totally worth the money!

I have only done two.  One was in October before we went to Toronto for Joe’s birthday and the other was right before the Ugly Disco.  Since then I have been applying Jergen’s fake tanner a few times to just keep the glow going a little longer.

I haven’t seen or felt the sun since September I bet.  Sure, it pokes its head out, but there is something about getting a little healthy color from that big old ball of fire.  Since that is not an option and tanning beds have a bad rap, the spray tan is the way to go!

I chose an Organic spray both times.  I am sure you could totally get a decent tan at any place offering them, but I do have a special spot for small businesses in my heart.  The most recent place I went to was Glow Tanning.  The girl was a riot and she chose my color for me: “The Champagne of Spray Tans.” Girl spoke my love language!  I knew enough to “prep” ahead of time and ran all my errands that day ready to be sprayed!

First Day with the tan–I don’t even wear makeup.  I feel like it looks super dark!!

Once you find a place you’d like to try, ask them for any specific prep they need you to do. Most likely they’ll tell you the following, but I’m not an expert.  You could always consult Google too!

The Prep

Any waxing should be done 24 hours prior.

Otherwise, this is what to expect of a spray tan!

  1. Shower in the am and wash your hair! I forgot to do my hair so my first shower after spray tan, the second time, I felt like was too long as it takes FOREVER to do my hair. I highly recommend being able to do a quick rinse/shower the day of your event.
  2. Exfoliate I prefer a sugar based scrub, but anything with a little grit will work! You really want to sloth off those dead skin cells to get to the newest layer of skin.
  3. Shave You want to make sure you’re primed and ready to get the solution on your skin.
  4. NO LOTION This was super hard for me!! I am a lotion girl and I hate the ‘dry feeling’ of no lotion. However, if you wear lotion prior to getting the spray tan, it may mix and cause blotches or it simple won’t allow the spray tan to stick.
  5. Wear black/loose clothing You most likely will get spray tan on you, even if you try to air dry/fan dry a bit before getting dressed.  Wear something baggy if possible and definitely black. I was even told to forgo the bra. Ok!
  6. Bring a makeup wipe I tried not to wear a ton of makeup the day of my spray tan, but I did have a little tinted moisturizer on so I made sure to bring wipes to get it off.
  7. You can wear bottoms or not.  They usually tell you to do whatever you’re most comfortable doing.
  8. Go the day before your event. I personally find the best color to be the very next day. The first day I looked pretty dark! I didn’t feel the need to wear makeup and I just looked like I hopped a plane from the islands. The tan will last about a week, if you drink a lot of water and slather that lotion on continuously after the tan!
  9. Be prepared to spend a little money. I paid $40 and tipped the girl, but again this was an organic solution, it lasted a week and I didn’t get messy trying to prep myself for days with bottled lotions/sprays at home.
  10. It all has a ‘scent.’  Again, I found the organic solution to be tolerable, but it still had that ‘fake tan smell’ if you’ve ever dabbled in fake tan before.

A few pics from our weekend in Toronto–I loved this glow!

I did add a little extra bronzer lotion to my legs too, which had glitter. Needed extra for the disco!!

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Have you spray tanned before?  Do you have a favorite place?  I’ll share some of my at home fake tan products in another post, since I don’t see Mr. Sun coming out any time soon!

 

Kid Free Weekend

We didn’t get a break from puppy training, but we are so grateful that my dad and stepmom took the kiddos Friday til Sunday.  It was Ugly Disco time and we had not had a kid free weekend since Joe’s 40th Birthday up at the Ritz in Toronto!  We were a little excited to reconnect, enjoy some delicious food & get our boogie on!

We hit up our favorite restaurant in the city, The Revelry.  We ordered our drinks at the bar; Joe’s favorite is the East Ender & I was super excited that they had brought back Rosé! We dined upstairs and had some fantastic oysters! They were so good, we ordered seconds.  We also tried the Corn Gnocchi –TO DIE FOR! Joe always orders the duck and this time I went with the butter poached lobster tail.  It was out of this world–black truffle sauce–the thought of it is making my mouth water at this very moment…it is that good.

I felt like wearing some snazzy Gita tassels with my LBD.

The next day we hit up a late brunch at McCann’s Local Meats.  We’ve had lunch here several times, and we always see photos of the Saturday brunch.  Since we had no plans, we knew we’d try it out after seeing it on Facebook. If you’re local and love meats, you’ve got to try it out.

I am a sucker for Eggs Benedict, and this was so savory, and creamy.  It was the perfect mix of sweet and salty and the ham had an incredible flavor.

Joe had the buttermilk pancakes, and I may have had more than just a few bites.  I couldn’t believe how good they were!

 

We went for a nice quiet drive, which has always been our thing.  Car rides are a great way to connect, talk and really hear what the other person is saying.  It’s not easy when our 3 and 5 year old are always chattering; life with littles is super tough sometimes.  That’s why moments like this and weekends like these are really special but also necessary.

He said I was weird, but I love this profile view of him. Something about the collar and his smile; it gets me every time!  I hope you know how happy you make me baby.  I love being in your passenger seat.

We cruised over to our land and talked about where the house will be, how far over the barn will go and how much dirt we’ll need.

I tried to take a quick disco nap but the new pup was barking non stop. (Probably because she slept on me while I zoned out on the couch.

After my attempt at napping, Joe ordered sushi takeout and then it was time to get ready!  I bought this outfit last year and I felt no need to buy anything new. I used as much curling spray, hair spry and glitter I could get my hands on!

Joe loves channeling his inner Rick James and bounces those curls all night long.  We have gone to the Ugly Disco quite a few times now, I actually want to say this was number 7? It’s for a great cause and we love supporting the Golissano Children’s Hospital.  Why would you not want to dress up in 70’s garb and boogie all night?!

The real stash and sideburns were a real treat!

I just felt like playing around with my iphone filters…haha

I was really playing around with my diet before this so I think I may share what I did to get into “disco dress” shape.  I by no means work out 7 days a week for hours on end, nor do I only eat salad.  I believe in the 80/20 rule and have started to dabble in some intermittent fasting. Anyone want to hear more about that?

My other #1 trick is get a good SPRAY TAN!  I went to Glow Sunless Tanning. The girl did a great job and their organic solution was awesome.  I’m also thinking of doing a blog post on how to prep/what to expect from a spray tan. (I was nervous before my very first one!)

Had to snap a selfie of me and my boa! I mean really, how often can you rock a boa?!  We danced til midnight or so, grabbed an Uber and totally hit up Steve T Hots for a Garbage Plate.  We have not done that in YEARS…so bad for you but oh so good.  Never heard of a garbage plate? Check it out… 

Sunday we had a late start, I took a nap (GLORIOUS!) and we drove out to get the kids.  We missed them and they had a great time, so it was happiness all around.  I knew I’d be in no shape or have zero desire to cook.   I also knew after all of the eating and drinking, we would just want simple: enter chicken in a slow cooker.

My attempt at being healthy once again: brussel sprouts.

I know that I’m barely making the “Monday cut off” deadline that is in my head for blogging.  It’s 11:03 and I’m about ready to hit publish.

I legitimately had zero time for myself (other than a quick shower!) from the moment my eyes opened until about 25 minutes ago.  I desperately needed that kid free weekend, more than I really knew.

Yesterday I could have done the dishes, washed, dried, folded laundry.  Grocery shopped. Blogged. Cleaned up all of the mess that is a home filled with dogs and children, but instead?  Instead I took that little nap on the couch with both dogs.  Something I’m not sure I’d ever be able to do if kids were here, because they’re usually on me!  That gave me so much determination and push to just keep going today.

And tomorrow? I’ve got a whole lot of new stuff going on and I am excited and nervous all at the same time.