Friday Favorites

Happy Fri-Yay friends!! Cheers!

We made it! (Not that the weekends look much different than a Monday, but hey!) Shout out to my girl Rachel who made me these fantastic cups for our business.  She’s amazing–check her out here: Simply Mama Boutique

We had a busy week and were kept on our toes, that’s for sure.  I thought I’d share some of my favorites from this week, including a new book, a few recipes and the kiddos last week of school!

One.   We are still working hard at finding more sellers for our eager buyers! We are spending most of our days, calling, e-mailing, texting, aka contacting people who may be looking to sell their homes.   We have had quite a few people looking to leave NY all together, some are tired of being landlords, and some have not owned the house very long, that if they did list it and sell it with a realtor, they’d have to pay at closing.  In every situation, we can work directly with the seller and we pay their closing costs and can offer top dollar for their homes.

Two.  I have 2 recipes for you! I love cooking and I’m trying to be better about sharing the “recipe” or simply how I cook it all up!  I love Instagram Stories for sharing, but I thought it’d be nice to have them here too.

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Three.  My baby boy graduated from Pre-school!  We did a small outside celebration and it was perfect.  While it was not like his sister’s, we still were so proud of what a great job he did the two years he attended.  We are going to miss this beautiful little school so much! For four years we have attended classes both threes and fours, helped out, gone on field trips and I served as the Newsletter writer.  It’s going to be very strange to not see these amazing teachers on a weekly basis ever again.

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My boys!

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Four And my sweet little soon to be SECOND grader!! I cannot believe how big she is.  I just had to order her new shoes!

She wanted her “Last Day” photo taken by this tree because of its pretty flowers. She doesn’t look so little here…

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Five. I snagged this brand new Emily Giffin book–one of my favorite Chic Lit authors!  It did not disappoint. If you like a little bit of cheese, sappy romantic books that seem a tad far fetched, but you love love so you listen/read anyway–this is for you!  It takes place during 9/11…if that helps paint that picture a little better. I give it a 3.75 out of 5.

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Need some inspo?!

Me too. Happy hump day!

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends!!

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It’s been an interesting year, hasn’t it? I am just going to focus on positives and light on this here blog, and send love from my heart to yours.

Yesterday was simply gorgeous! It was sunny and in the 80’s — my favorite! Some big things happened this week and we are so excited!

  1.  We had an awesome tenant move into his new home at Conrad Dr! This was the house that had a bacon fire on the stove last Summer.  It took a long time with permits, total rehab of the main floor, lots of issues that sprang up (just because that’s what happens when you remodel!) But I think that the house came out even better this time around! I want to do a separate post on the renovations of this beautiful home, but for now, congratulations to the Sean!

2. I put together my little “outdoor oasis” I like to call it.  Really, I’ve had everything but I did purchase and indoor/outdoor rug at Aldis– $50 for that size seemed like the best deal I would find!  I enjoyed sitting here for a little bit, trying to keep calm over this past weekend.  I also got a Lavender plant, in hopes that it helps keep the bugs away and also I just love the smell!

3.  I finished this crazy book over the weekend.  If you’re into thrillers, it’s pretty good! I didn’t find it super crazy, but I did want to read it quickly to see where it was headed.

4.  This guy.  What do you mamas feed your ALWAYS HUNGRY boys?!  Brooke eats a lot too, but this kid will eat a meal and still want another meal afterwards.  I gave into the fruity pebbles and he loves them…and I know that doesn’t fill anyone up, but goodness!

5.  We wrapped up a deal and will be closing on buying another house in 3 weeks!  We are so happy to help this family out as they start new ventures down in North Carolina.  If you know anyone looking to sell a home, have them reach out to me!  We are doing a $1,000 Summer—meaning, if you send us a house and we buy it, you get $1,000!!

6.  Sister likes to wear her hair like I used to back in the 80’s. I love it.

7.  We’ve been working hard– and as Joe’s shirt says, “WORK, that’s how you get it.”

8.  A must try dinner idea– GRILLED ROMAINE—OMG! I slice the head in half and have Joe just slather a little Olive Oil.  Then he grills it on all sides so parts are a little charred but not burnt.  I then added some fresh lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, here we had smoked some chicken breast, asparagus and some crumbly blue—SO good and light and yet super filling!

9.  My azalea’s bloomed. I Just love their coloring!!

10.  And does anyone else feel like we are truly in an experiment?  I have to find humor because life/this country/world is out of control.  I do hope aliens will not come visit next month.

 

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.

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