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?

 

Grocery Shopping during Covid

Well I did it. I finally went to the grocery store!! Goodness I was a ball of nerves the last few days and I think mostly because of having to leave my house and venture off for food! Now, I am well aware it may sound dramatic, but my last grocery trip was March 12.  With help from friends and family, we have been living comfortably for a whole month! It wasn’t until these last few days where I was completely out of fresh fruits and veggies and running low on eggs and milk.  I was pretty proud of us!

It was a surreal experience to say the least, and though you may have gone many times already, I felt that I should blog about it, for not only my own memory, but my kids and grandkids as well!  I keep thinking about how this is something that my great-grandchildren will be learning about and thinking, “Wow that was sooooo long ago!” much like I do when I think about WWII etc.

So here’s what I did to ‘prepare’ myself for this outing.

  • Wrote a grocery list on paper
  • Brought only a credit card in my coat pocket (no purse!)
  • I had my key and my phone in a separate pocket, as I would not need to touch
  • Mask
  • Hair back in a low bun
  • Hat
  • Sweatshirt and then a coat over that
  • Wipes for my cart
  • Gloves (I know this is debatable, as long as you are using sanitizer or immediately washing your hands….I just brought a few pair of disposable gloves)
  • Glasses— so Joe wanted to me to wear Goggles, (don’t have any) so I tried using my Blue Blocking glasses, but really they fogged up and I couldn’t see so I shoved them in a pocket. I tried.

I went to Aldi first and there was an employee who was wiping down carts — no quarter needed.  They blocked off the entrance so that you must go around and get a sanitized cart.  There were tons of signs everywhere stating stay 6 feet apart from each other.   Now, most people were wearing masks, not many wearing gloves too, but there were a lot of folks just walking around like no big deal.  I should say I’m not surprised but I was.

I was so happy to see it so full of food! I have never in my life been so grateful for fresh fruits and veggies–I was so excited! There was so much bread, snacks, etc. Lots of meats and honestly nothing seemed “out of stock.”  You could only take 2 butters but other than that I didn’t really see any other signs.  I remember teaching The Diary of Anne Frank to my 8th grade students years ago and they for the life of them, could not understand “ration coupons.”  I bet they get it now.

I felt bad for a mom who had nothing covering her or her baby’s face– she ran in, holding the baby in a car seat and we know how heavy those things are, and only had formula to buy.  Another lady and myself both let her go ahead of us at checkout.

Once I got to the checkout belt, I placed my items on there and there was a plastic shield between myself and the cashier.  She had on gloves and a mask…where the money/credit card machine is, there is still space so you still need to keep your distance.  This store was still swapping carts but she was wiping them down…I wiped it again anyway.

I decided that though it was chilly, I would just bag my groceries in the truck so I didn’t have to stay inside the store any longer, but as I stood at the taped line waiting my turn at the checkout, I saw snow. So that was fun, to say the least! (Side note: anyone who is in quarantine with weather above 60 degrees has NO right to complain about anything. #justsayin!)

After I loaded my groceries into my bags at my truck in the blizzard, (I tried to wipe them down as I placed them into bags but my hands began to freeze and I gave up and just shoved them in and said a prayer.) I walked my cart back and wished the employee wiping them down to stay healthy and warm!  I took off my gloves, wiped my hands with a wipe and my steering wheel etc…then called my hubby to let him know I survived the first store and was heading to Wegmans for “luxury items” such as hot sauce and dog food.  I may have grabbed some Jergens tanning lotion and lipgloss–I needed something people!

Wegmans also had a designated “Entrance and Exit” to help keep the herd going the right way.  In both stores people would still walk right by you, no 6 foot distance apart…some with masks and some without.  You could tell that more ‘stuff was missing’ from Wegs probably because I’m just so used to seeing it overflowing with everything there.  Bare shelves where cleaning supplies would be and the meats were not as stocked up. I could not find the Country Style Bone in Ribs that Joe’s grandma likes to put in her sauce to make it so yummy.  Maybe next time…

As for checkout, it was very strategic.  One man would tell you which lane to go to and that was it.  No one else was next to you.  Same thing with the plastic shield and this time my cashier had no mask or gloves…yikes!

Once I got home I took everything out and wiped all of the freezer and refrigerator items down so that they could be put away immediately.  As for pantry items and most produce, I left them in the garage and will get to them in a day or so.   As soon as I was done with the sanitizing, I immediately stripped, left my clothes at the washer/dryer and headed straight to the shower for a full on shampoo etc.

Now that I’ve officially gone out in the wild, I feel so much better. I feel better knowing there is still an abundance of food for us.  I feel better just seeing people in general, even if they were not keeping the distance.  I feel better feeling like I accomplished something haha!

Thank you to everyone who has reached out and given us masks! I couldn’t believe the immediate love from friends and family who sent us some. Thank you!

Stay safe and healthy friends~

If I’m Being Honest…

It’s Wednesday morning and I did not want to get out of bed today.  It seems like it’s getting harder and harder for me to want to get up early. If it weren’t for my 5 year old telling me his tummy was grumbling because he was hungry, I very well could have laid in bed until…

I’m sharing my thoughts today because this is such a crazy time.  We have no idea when this virus will go away, when we can go to the store without fear of picking up germs to bring back to our family.  We have no idea when we can hug and squeeze our friends and family outside of our quarantine circle.

I keep volleying back and forth between, “everything is okay and everything is so not okay.”  I am working hard on my meditations, literally listened to 3 or 4 before I checked any social media today.  I try to allow myself time to process, grieve and allow myself to feel the feelings.  Yes some people have it worse, but it doesn’t make your or my situation any easier.

I keep reminding myself that the kids are happy and healthy.  Joe and I are healthy, and if I’m being honest, he’s always really happy! It’s me who spirals out into monkey mind of, ‘what if’ and ‘what about’?  But that’s always been us.  He’s Mr. Sunshine even on the grayest day, and that’s one of the things I love about him, but he’s him and I’m me and we are different.

So I guess all I’m trying to say is, if you need the good old fashioned shower cry, go ahead and do so.  But please talk to someone, write things down, and give yourself some love.  Read some books, watch some TV, work on a craft or bake if that is your thing.  As humans we need to feel productive, so I always feel best after baking my family cookies or crafting a blog post.  I want to continue to show up, even when I don’t feel like it.  Yup.  I don’t feel like doing a lot these days.  I was killing my at home workouts with Tone it Up routines and then bam–stopped.

I still walked the dogs the last few days, but not showing up and sweating and getting that extra cortisol out really messes with me I think!  I’m making it a goal to sweat daily again. My body, mind and soul needs that extra push right now and it’s so true that we should be taking the very best care of ourselves during this time.

I’m still getting up and writing down 5 things I am grateful for in my Start Today Journal.  I am writing in my journal.  I am working on quieting my mind when the negative chatter comes into play.  It’s an all day every day battle and I will admit Sunday I even had to check out a bit.  I laid in my bed and watched Hulu for a little while.  I just needed a tiny break.  We are not meant to be “on” 24/7 and as moms, wives, friends, daughters, we are fixers and trying so hard to make things right.  I check in with a few close girlfriends and my family through Marco Polo or House Party.  I do think it’s important to stay connected as much as we can!

As for a “Schedule” — nope. We ain’t got one! I love a good routine and groove, but my kids are still little so they’re not sitting in front of computers or iPads for hours on end.  I kinda just let things go where they may.  They have been enjoying a bowl of cereal on the living room floor and watching cartoons together.  It’s the little things. If the weather is nice, which it was yesterday, ZERO worksheets were done. Sorry #notsorry Cuomo.  Instead we all hopped in the truck and spent 5 hours at our land. Walking in nature, looking for items on a Nature Scavenger Hunt.  We saw worms, animal bones, feathers, deer poo, and got real muddy.  I even got a little sunburn on my nose! It was glorious.

I know that I cannot play the “I will be happy when…” card, but I do know that once our weather finally breaks and this 30/40/low 50 degrees crap is gone, we will be living outside! It is supposed to snow this weekend so Joe already promised me a fire.  I can live with that.  I have my Jessica Simpson book I want to finish!

I guess my rambling here is it just let you know, you are not alone.  No matter where you are and who you’re #stayinghome with, just keep going.  If you look for the good, you’ll find the good. If you look for the bad, well you’ll find that too.

1. Plug keep plugging into positive people, my personal faves are, (aside from my husband)

Rachel Hollis

Cambria Joy

How Jen Does it

Gabby Bernstein

Elena Cardone

2. Sweat.  Need ideas?

Tone it Up (You Tube and Free app)

Peleton (going to try)

Beachbody on Demand

 

3.  Laugh.  It really is the best medicine.  Memes galore right now, lighten up and see the humor in the dark.

4.  Eat healthy.  I’m struggling with this one since I am out of fresh fruits and veggies, but try really hard to eat 5 colors a day, throw in some extra frozen vegetables or a smoothie.  I’ve been eating Gluten Free and feeling pretty good! Make efforts and cook from scratch! (No preservatives.). I’ve been following Cara and Christina’s new book ideas.

Wellness Remodel

5.  Show up.  Show up for yourself. Show up for your mom. Show up for your kids, your hubby, your dog. Just keep showing up.  Baby steps like the move What about Bob.  We totally need to watch that this weekend, we just love it! But seriously, DO SOMETHING that makes your soul happy.  We will never get this time back.  The negativity will creep in but you can stop it; we just have to keep showing up. Be the light. Bake the cookies with the kids, play the family board game, make some memories! This will not last forever.
Let me know what is helping you get through the tough moments right now!

That Self-Isolation Life

It hits me at weird and random moments, that are so routine and show me just how much my ‘normal’ is off.  Sitting down to meal plan, I’ve been taking a look through our pantry/freezer/fridge before this whole virus took over.  I have been following Jordan Page’s “Shelf Cooking” Facebook Group and loved the idea of not wasting food and using up what you have instead of buying too much at the grocery store. Now I do it because I don’t have a choice.   I stare at the upcoming week and immediately mentally check off each day in my mind: “Monday is Joe’s late night, Wednesday is dance…” and stop myself and realize I don’t need to plan meals around our schedule.  This is it.  We are home.

We have been home isolating since Friday March 13th.  The week prior we saw the progression in China and Italy and honestly began ‘preparing’ a little before that even.  Joe and I would run the “what if” scenarios, and slowly grabbed an extra this or that while out.  I have to thank my acupuncturist for her wise words and guidance.  If she didn’t educate me on exactly where this Covid-19 was headed, we would be in such bad spot.  (And if I chose not to listen) She gave me a random Instagram account to follow and all I can say is that it scared the crap out of me enough to get up and out of the house early Sunday March 8th.  I hit up two grocery stores spending way more than I typically do.  And then I went again on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and one more time on Thursday.  By Thursday the stores were super packed and buzzing since Trump had taken to our TV screens Wednesday night. While I would not consider myself a “hoarder” I knew that if we were to stay home and stop the spread, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house as we have no face masks! So I did what I could do.

Since Joe has Crohn’s Disease AND is on Humira (a biologic which lowers his immune system,) if he caught the Coronavirus, he would have a really hard time getting better. More than likely, he could die.  We knew it was super serious and were willing to do anything in our power to be smart, stay healthy and safe.  Joe did go into work 3/13 and mentioned to the owners his concern and sure enough Friday the 13th, he received a call to stay home and not to come in Saturday or Monday…basically work from home.  My eyes immediately filled with tears because I knew this was going to be bad.  We had already decided that morning to not send Brooke or Bradley to school, and I planned on pulling them out for however long we needed to.  The very next day the schools closed anyway, and we are all doing this ‘distance learning’ as best as we can!

I have to say while emotions are much like a roller coaster, overall I believe I’m handling this fairly well.  We are in a bit of a rhythm here all 4 of us humans and 2 dogs.  Some days we feel like rockstars, checking off completed tasks, being all-star parents and doing all the things.  We’ve been able to really dive in and work real estate since Joe was laid off and all Car sales and stopped. Other moments? We just zone out playing video games, reading, watching Hulu.  Overall my favorite part (if there can be one?) is the way we are connecting with friends and family.  We are all so busy (all the time) that we never slow down to catch up and chat with so many amazing people. Friends Joe hasn’t seen or spoken to are now part weekly check-ins.  The kids miss their schools, but seeing friends and teacher via zoom calls has been so rewarding. We’ve also had a lot of love shown from so many friends and family, offering to grab anything we need, including an incredible supply of fresh produce and meat from Joe’s good buddy Chris.  Another friend dropped a goodie bag for the kids to open—so many sweet souls lending a hand it warms my heart.

Sure I miss my Starbucks, going to and fro as I please…but more than anything we just want to stop the spread and stay healthy.  At the end of each day I thank God for that.  We do not get any takeout as this virus can live on surfaces for a very long time.  I have done one small Target Delivery last week so that my kids will have a little something special Easter morning.  We also haven’t gone anywhere since we are good with groceries and honestly there’s no reason for us to be out and about.  I think maybe a drive would be nice, but we also don’t want to waste gas money.

I’ve been working out daily, getting outside with the kids and dogs, having ‘tea parties’ after dinner and if you haven’t downloaded the app House Party, you are missing out!! Lots of fun happy hours around here.  We are not stressing over what we can’t control, but we are sharpening our saws and really putting forth the effort to help make us even better and stronger when this is all said and done.

So wherever you’re at, it’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling.  Once I “got that” I have been doing better I think.  I was feeling bad for feeling bad, since “I don’t have it as bad as someone else”–but our feelings don’t work that way.  It’s okay and you should all yourself to feel the hurt, anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness etc…and then make a plan to move on.

I have this belief that humans are going to come out of this one of two ways: I can make the most out of the situation and realize we’ll never get this time back, so use it wisely.  Drink the water, eat the healthy foods, relax and enjoy family and little pleasures.  Workout and become the best, strongest version of me that I haven’t even ever seen.  I can put the time in to study, grow with Joe in business and strengthen our marriage.

Or I can become miserable, lazy, negative, gain weight, cause emotional trauma and stress to my children, and probably drive my husband crazy (more than I already do!)

It’s our choice.  We can evolve and become great or we can fizzle out and be left behind.  This world needs us to step up and shine now more than ever.  And in a few more months? Even more so.  This is not going to be a quick fix —this is going to take awhile for things to go back to normal.

Now that I feel like we’ve gotten into a groove and the initial shock factors are over, I hope to make more time to spend here on this blog.  I have lots of recipes I’ve been trying and I hope to read lots of books! (Luckily I grabbed a small stack of books from the library before we went into quarantine!)

I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy and that you too can make use of this unexpected extra time.  And if you’re one of the heroes on the front line, I am praying and sending so much love and light to you!  Thank you to everyone who is making a positive difference during this time.