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.

 

Weekend Wrap Up & Menu for the Week

Happy Monday!

I figured I’d share a few tidbits from our February break weekend as well as my menu for the week!  I am still doing Gluten Free (for me) but I’m experimenting a little with dairy… I’ve been watching a ton of You Tube videos of other healthy ladies who have had similar digestive issues as myself, and they have found that going GF and even Dairy Free has helped them feel so much better.  I have been feeling pretty well, but not 100%.  I’m not going to give up yet and since meds haven’t helped, I am simply listening to my body and trying to give it what it needs.

We’ll start with this week’s menu, shall we?  All recipes are linked!

Sheet Pan Beef & Broccoli

Shrimp Scampi (Instant Pot)

Baked Scallops

Veggie Quinoa Soup  (Slow Cooker)

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili

I saw Jordan Page post this recipe and I may try it for the kiddos.  Sometimes we have lots of fruit going quickly, so it maybe nice to Some of those may end up being lunches or just food for me, as Joe’s diet is low fiber and lots of carbs.  I’m getting used to the 3 ring circus that is dinner some nights.  I don’t expect my family to eat no gluten, and on pasta nights, I can either sub zucchini noodles (zoodles) or GF pasta or rice. Simple!  I am not one to give up carbs totally, so I’m trying to take on this GF thing as something new and exciting…rather than omg it’s so hard and more work.  Being pain free to me is 100% worth it!

As always, if need be there’s always these as back up options:

Taco Night (I use ground beef, turkey, or chicken and taco seasoning. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, rice, beans, tortilla shells.) It’s a fam fave.

Breakfast for dinner (usually waffles, pancakes or eggs)

Leftovers

Ok moving on to some randoms from the weekend!

I just LOVE this green juice.  It has a whole bunch of goodness in it and my body actually craves it.

Friday the boys got hair cuts and look so cute!

After that we hit up the Outlet Mall for some new clothes for Joe.  Mama may have scored a few things too!  This CK hoodie was on sale for $14.99. I LOVE the neon!

Miss Brooke insisted that we stop at Justice and she picked out a few things as well.  I already miss that she’s back in school full time.  She’s growing up so fast!

Saturday night was low key; Joe built us a fire and Holly snuggled near it.

These two pretended to like each other for a few minutes…

Sunday brought more sunshine and I felt the need to purge all the things.  While doing so, I watched this documentary on Netflix.  The power of our minds and how to heal our bodies.  It all fascinates me and I do believe in the power of our thoughts. Have you seen it?

Look at it still being LIGHT outside during dinner Sunday night!!  (Smoked/Grilled Wings for the win!!)

I gotta say I was awesome at my workouts last week! I made it to the gym 4x with the kiddos.  Saturday I did the bike and triceps/biceps.

I also baked my babies some chocolate chip cookies! I used the back of the Wegmans brand chocolate chips recipe. 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes had these babies crisping up! I took some out around the 8 minute mark so they’d be chewy for Joe. I had a tiny nibble, but don’t want to upset my stomach so I refrained.  Any good GF sweet treats you could share?

I also got to chat with my mom a little bit.  She just launched a blog for her Life Coaching business!  Check it out.

Mom’s Blog!

I hope all of you have a great week.  Remember: start before you are ready and that DONE is better than PERFECT.

All things Christmas

It’s total crazy this time of year. Every mom I chat with is (more than) overwhelmed and counting down the days where she can just relax with family, friends and good food!

We’ve been battling a few little sicknesses here and there but nothing major–Thank God!  This little dude is my daily sidekick.  Whether we are working real estate, home, running here there and everywhere, he’s been such a good boy!

I was going to rush through the drive-thru one morning after checking on one of the houses we are renovating and decided nope, I’m going to allow us to get out of the moving vehicle and pause.  I am finding this is helping me not just “get through” this season but “ENJOY” it as well.

His fave from ‘bux is the Ham & Cheese Croissant.

I had to make a return at the mall and tried to do a little more shopping, so we again paused and I let him be little.  Isn’t that what this time of year is all about?  Making memories and letting the little ones just enjoy the beautiful sights?  To a busy person, this tree may just be taking up space, but to Bradley, his whole face lit right up.

Plus he got to ride the train which he always enjoys!

This one has been busy!  She had her holiday performance last weekend and had so much fun!

While she rehearsed, we ran some errands and Bradley was stoked to have Daddy around.

They danced to Frosty the Snowman and all proceeds went to the Wilmot Cancer Society here in Rochester.

Even Ana & Elsa were there!  I had to admit, I totally cried when the girls were dancing on stage.  This is Brooke’s first year in “competition” classes and often times in my head, since she is no longer a baby, I feel like she’s just big.  And then I watch all the other dancers from ages 7-17 and I realize how little she still is.  These girls did so great and I love being aware of how much time we still have until she’s off and running into this big world.

Then later that evening we decided to attend a White Elephant party about an hour away.  I quickly re-heated some leftovers and called everyone to the table to eat a quick dinner before making the trek.  Long and short, I dropped my iPhone IN THE FREAKING TOILET!!! Mind you, it didn’t just drop for a second, it literally sat there for 20ish minutes while we ate, I finished getting ready and then decided to look for it.  I didn’t have much time to do very much about it because we had to get going to the party and it was snowing and the roads were horrendous.

It worked for awhile so I did snap a few photos at the party…

As for the White Elephant gift exchange, it was so fun!! We got a nice bottle of Baileys that came with two cute mugs (mine & yours they said!) and I opened a $20 Applebees gift card, but then switched with a girl who got a $25 Starbucks card.  I was more than excited–no pics from that though because, well said phone was in rice.

But then it stopped.  It just went blank and kept showing the Apple logo.  It was basically the joke of the night, we put it in a bag of rice and everyone kept checking on it.

Part of my secretly wanted it to die—I often feel tethered to the damn thing and would love to go back in time and have more freedom from it.  But also on the flip side, we take so many photos of the kids and I use it for our business. I don’t know what I’d do.

By  Sunday it was working fine and though the lens fogged up, we set it on the mantle above the fire place and it seemed to have dried out.

A Christmas Miracle I tell ya!!  It’s an iPhone X and works perfectly fine (unless it gets dropped in the toilet.) Super grateful I don’t need to spend the money on that right now.

In other news, the Elf has been keeping the kids on their toes all month long!

He also likes to treat them to little things like cocoa and books from time to time.  Again, it’s about the magic of the season.  I don’t get why so many people hate on the elf.  Maybe I’m just a big kid at heart, but there’s nothing better than hearing the squeals every morning of where Buddy may be.

This one is so funny.  I caught him just staring out the door the other morning watching the snow.

The wonder of being 4, almost 5.

I pressed pause yesterday to sip on a decaf Chai latté and look at the tree while I looked up some yummy Christmas Day Brunch ideas.  I want to make all the things!

I’ve still got some shopping left, I’m about 80% done.  I need to do 100% in the wrapping department and of course we have school holiday parties and performances to attend, on top of life things like annual Dr appointments.

But I keep telling myself it will all get done, it always does.  No sense in stressing over everything.  Just keep plugging away and be sure to pause and enjoy the moments.  I am doing such a great job of it this year because years past it all went by in a blur and I was so stressed and so mad that I didn’t feel like I enjoyed anything because I just rushed from one thing to another.

I’ll say that there’s more laundry piling up than usual, the dog fur needs to get vacuumed (again) and I don’t have a “meal plan” for this week. #oops But you just do what you can do and let it go.  I do however have a great plan for our Christmas Brunch. Would you like a blog post on that?

One week from today, Christmas will be over and I am going to stay in my PJs all day with my kids and just enjoy the peace (and probably more mess) of this beautiful holiday.

 

Brooke Dances

I never got around to posting this, but I still want to see it later on in life! Our sweet girl just loves dance.  She’s been dancing at the same studio since she was 2. She has been in 4 dance recitals total and we just found out she will be doing competition dance starting in the Fall!!

Back in June she had her recital.

This was her “Material Girl” dance costume, how darn cute??

She likes ballet, but thinks it’s a bit slow.  She loves being on stage though!

Her ballet song was, “You are the Glow” which is some Disney princess song I think?  Either way, it makes me cry watching her dance to it.

I never knew the joy that could be watching your little girl up on a stage.  My mama heart just bursts with love and tears stream down my face when I see her light up the stage.

We are so proud of her!

One of her favorite parts is getting a trophy.

The stage makeup is fun for her too, as she never wears anything but chapstick at her age ha!

She was so happy her nana and papa could see her dance.  It was a beautiful Sunday performance and we are so blessed to be her parents.

She will be taking 4 classes this Fall, lyrical, ballet, jazz & tap.  Let the fun begin!

{Sorry, not sorry I love being a #dancemom!}

First and Last

The smile on your face, the excitement behind your eyes— baby girl, it seems like yesterday I brought you into this world. Your first day of Kindergarten, I was so nervous all day long!  I kept staring at the clock, every other hour and checking your schedule all the while.  I remember baking cookies for you to enjoy and tell me about your day.  I recall sitting on the front porch, tearing up because I knew that this was it.  It was the first day of your big schooling and the last of being home with me.

And just like that, the year flew by, so many memories tucked safely away.  You loved school so much, you rarely missed a day!  You grew so much (look how big!) but even more in school.  You’re a big girl, reading and writing all sorts of things.

Most importantly you gained so much confidence and weren’t so shy.  You made new friends and enjoyed all of your subjects.  You’re 6 six years and have so many questions, and as much as I try to keep you small, you simply must know it all.

So cheers to you, for a fantastic year!

And here’s to us for having you near all Summer.

I couldn’t have picked a more perfect daughter, you’re truly a blessing from above.

I ended the year, as I began, baking some cookies from my heart with my hands.

I hope these memories of love fill your soul.

And that you, sweet Brooke Lynn, remember that you can do it all.

Happy Summer 2019!!