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.

Wellness Wednesday: Easy Sheet Pan BLT

I have been trying out some new recipes and thought I’d share one that literally just made last night!  My good friend Ann has been doing rounds of Whole30 for over a year now and has nothing but amazing things to say.  I have yet to bite that bullet, but I am playing around with the meals and food concepts a bit, especially since I have given up Gluten and am really trying to just eat real foods.  I also like to keep things simple around here as well as versatile.

This meal was SUPER easy delicious; I only wish that I made more!  Depending how you eat/serve, it can be Paleo or Whole30.

You will need:

Bacon (ideally Whole30 approved, mine was not #oops)

Cherry tomatoes

Chicken breasts

Lettuce

Compliant mayo (I actually used Primal Kitchen Ranch)

Sheet pans

Instructions:

Pre-Heat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut bacon into small pieces, place on one sheet. (Use kitchen scissors!)

Arrange chicken and tomatoes on another – salt and pepper

Bake for 25 minutes — I watched the bacon and took some out a few minutes before the timer went off, as I don’t like it too burnt/crispy.

I ate mine over a big salad w/ the Primal Kitchen Ranch.

I actually served my kiddos this as a traditional BLT — I toasted bread, used mayo and shredded the chicken, added lettuce and tomato and of course they went nuts for bacon.  At first Bradley gave it a thumbs down, but I told him this was dinner, he was welcome to pick it a part and eat what he wanted but this was it.  A few minutes later he told me he was kidding and that he liked it—kids!  I will say he took the tomatoes out.

Joe just had his with real Ranch dressing, no salad and no toast.  I bet I could have stirred it up in a pasta and he would have enjoyed it as well!

No leftovers and no complaints = winning!

Let me know if you try it!

The original recipe can be found here. 

 

 

Family Time

I never shared some adorable photos from awhile back of us on our land.  We enjoyed bundling up, getting some fresh air and trekking through the snow! It’s hard to stay active when it’s so cold and gloomy, but we make efforts when we can to get outdoors!

This one jumped just as I was taking the photo, stepping on a stick and thus resulting in it bumping her on the head.

While we enjoyed Winter, we are certainly ready for Spring and Summer!

February Favorites

It was full of love and that by far is my favorite!  But really, when we come from a place of love, life flows effortlessly.  When we are afraid, or stuck in fear, it can be so much more challenging.

Moving onto some drinks:

I started taking a little magnesium before bed at night for a few reasons.  I heard that it helps with any GERD/digestive issues, also my acupuncturist always tells me to have a little and this helps with sleep.  I just do 1/2 a teaspoon in a little warm water and it fizzes up, then I add cold water and drink.  I think it works!  You can grab Calm off of Amazon.

img_8149

I think I finally perfected (for now) my at home Matcha lattés.  I started pouring the Matcha powder, soy milk and stevia sweetener into my milk frother and it is SO much better! I also like to heat up my yeti mug with hot Keurig water so that it keeps my latté warm while I sip it.  It’s not Starbucks, as I am still certain they sprinkle magical unicorn dust in their Matcha Lattés, but it’s better on the wallet and lower in sugar!

I really fell back in love with some delicious green juices.  I swear I was coming down with something Thursday of last week and I just tried to stay away from processed sugars (as much much as I could) and really upped my greens.  My body craves green juice now!  We stopped into this cute Just Juice shop Friday.  My boys had a tropical smoothie which they LOVED and I had a shot of ginger and some green juices.

Clearly I’m on a bevvie kick here, but this Tea is so so good!! It stood out to me at the grocery store because one of my Start Today Journal goals is to be calm and intentional.  I just recently heard about this herb Ashwagandha and it helps with stress and staying calm.  It’s in my current vitamins below as well!

As far as my favorite read of the month, it goes to this one-You Are Not Alone: A Novel It takes a few chapters to get into it because there are so many characters, but it is worth reading until the end!

I get a lot of questions regarding my hair and I do indeed use a Purple shampoo to help keep it a whiter/lighter blond and not more golden yellow.  I find that Joico seems to be the best bang for your buck and produces the best results.  I do get my hair professionally highlighted and it’s naturally a dirty blond, so as always test it out on some of your hair first before you go and do your whole head.  PS do not leave it on for longer than 5-10 minutes or you will get purple hair.

I’m also working hard at amping up the real estate game.  Come September, I’m going to have from 8:30 until 4:00 with no kiddos! Seriously, for the first time in 7.5 years I will have no child to care for most of the days—I am excited and sad all at once, but what an opportunity for our family to really grow and prosper! I am also a tad nervous since there are so many facets to real estate, I feel like I should know everything 100% inside and out but the reality is, I have to just start. Learn. Fail. Get up. Try again. It’s all about not giving in or giving up and just doing my best every day.  So with that, if you or someone else you know is looking to sell a home in the Rochester area, let me know!  Be sure to send them to my Facebook page, Jenn Buys 585.

On the selling side of things, we finished up our Irondequoit house and the kitchen was just so darn cute! Within 6 days we had a buyer.  A lovely family moved in and this home is now filled with lots of love! Definitely a favorite that happened in February.  If you don’t already, be sure to like our page 585 Rent to Own where we love asking our followers for flipping advice!

7a40bfe9-61e1-4082-af9d-58d9724335a3

We had lots of fun in February, but one of my favorites was taking the kids to see Dino World Live Tour.We had a lot of fun!

I would have to say the other fantastic family moment was when Joe made unexpected reservations at one of our favorite restaurants, The Revelry.  The kids got dressed up and we all had a delicious meal!  Mama didn’t have to cook which is always a win in my book!

img_7614

And one of my favorite quotes I stumbled upon this month was this:

 

We cannot beat ourselves up for what has happened in our past, the people that have let us down or stay stuck in that negative energy that perhaps made us unhappy.  I keep telling myself that no matter what, if I do my best every day and that I love myself and honor my time, my energy, my life, everything will be okay.

This month has taught me that once again, everything does happen for a reason, and to stop trying to control things that I have zero control over.  God’s Plan is bigger than anything and sometimes you need to give him space, to do his work and he will move mountains.

Looking ahead, I keep picturing how I see Joe and I living our lives in the next few years…

img_7443

 

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

Wordless Wednesday