5 on Friday

img_6285

1. This week mostly flew by!  What started off on such a sad note, {The passing of Kobe Bryant & his daughter} really propelled me into being super productive and not just busy.  I was able to finish cleaning/semi-staging our East Irondequoit house and we’ve been showing it.  It is such an adorable home, it won’t be empty long!  I had so much fun designing it, I cannot wait to do more!  I love the way this kitchen turned out.  I didn’t love cleaning the toilet, but hey, as Grant Cardone said in one of his videos, some days you just have to eat sh*t.  It’s not all sunshine and roses all the time. In this case, it was sticking my arms in a toilet that I don’t think has ever been cleaned, but it’s sparkling now!  Quite humbling. It’s funny how most people watch these HGTV shows and think flipping homes is a “glamorous job” but I can assure you, that is not an adjective I would use to describe!

2.  I’ve been using my Rachel Hollis Priority Planner every day/week and I am loving it.  I may do a whole post on it, but I wanted to use it a bit longer to really give some great feedback.  However, I had to share that sis has it going on with some of her ideas! She has us pick a “motivating song of the week” each week to help pump us up and achieve our goals.  I stumbled upon this song and it’s been so empowering when I have to go do something I may not want to do, but I know that I need to so that I can get to that next level! Plus it’s a super fun dance beat.  The only bad thing is she is married to Russel Wilson and, well, that’s not cool when you’re a 49ers fan.

3.  I have been making efforts daily to move my body for 30 minutes–no matter what!  I hurt my foot wearing crappy shoes cleaning the property on Monday, so it was painful to even walk.  Luckily I tried out this contraption and found that not only did I burn calories and work up a sweat, I also was able to work on our social media accounts much easier than when I’m walking on a treadmill! My gym membership is up at the end of February and I’ll be doing more at home workouts, but for now I still try to sneak in when I can. I did a lot of cardio this week.

Monday -Ran on the treadmill. Tuesday-This bike thing. Wednesday- bike thing. Thursday-Yoga (my arms and core are sore!)  Friday- I’m hoping to walk the dogs.

img_7577

4.  My acupuncturist has a farm and gifted us the most amazing eggs! How pretty are they?! They taste even better.  She is just the sweetest and honestly helps make so many people feel better by doing what she does.  The eggs are such an added bonus. Thank you T, we love them! I’ve been really watching what I eat, mostly following Dr. Aviv’s Acid Watcher Diet, since my GERD is really acting up.  It’s basically eating real whole foods, lots of fruits, veggies, low acid, no spicy trigger foods etc.  I think it’s helping, but it’s not easy! I love carbs but they truly don’t love me.  I find that when I eat white starchy (absolutely delicious foods) I feel the burn and am super uncomfortable.  I want and need to feel my absolute best, so I am finding it imperative to get my eating in check.  Small frequent meals seem to also do best with my gut.  I have an endoscopy scheduled next week to check and see what my esophagus/stomach looks like and my GI Dr said we’ll go from there with what meds may help.  I miss the sunshine and warm weather, and really feel like Vitamin D helps solve all the problems! Summer please hurry.

5.  It’s been cold, as in the teens–high of 25 degrees, so we’ve been a bit more housebound than I like.   These two are the best of buds and though they (mostly the dog) drive me crazy, moments like this stop me in my tracks.  It’s a bit tricky working from home and still managing the house plus having Bradley home most of the time.  I really try to limit technology, but when we are stuck inside a lot, he gets a little extra time to snuggle with Bailey and play his games.  Bailey just turned 2 so she’s still a puppy, but oh man she’s still a handful!  Right after this sweet and innocent photo, she ran up to our bathroom and started eating the garbage.  Fun times!

Other than our boys playing in the Super Bowl— GO NINERS!– we don’t have much planned, which is nice.  It’s been 7 years since the 49ers played in the Super Bowl and 25 years since they’ve won it!  We are all a little excited over here as game day approaches. I’m trying to figure out what food to cook for Game Day! Any suggestions?

Egg Roll in a Bowl (low carb)

Sometimes you need a quick and easy meal that’s healthy and has tons of flavor….enter in this “Egg Roll in a Bowl”! My bestie Ann is a Whole 30 fan so she’s always sharing her favorite go to meals.  While I don’t partake in Whole 30, I do believe my body does best with some carbs but mostly veggies and lean protein. This dish is simple and makes enough for lunches.  My husband has tried it and thought it was god, but he can’t do high fiber, so he can’t have a lot.  As for the kids, Brooke tried it and didn’t like it and Bradley straight up refused.

But I loved it! I’ve made it a few times, and it curbs any ‘Chinese food cravings’ you may get from time to time, without breaking the budget and the waistline.

You’ll need:

Coleslaw mix (buy the bag it’s so much easier!)

Garlic

Sesame Oil

Soy Sauce or alternative

1 lb ground beef (or turkey etc)

You can also add an egg, I didn’t want one this time around.

Brown the meat, add the garlic, stir in the sesame oil.

Add the coleslaw mix and stir in the soy sauce until it’s soften.

At this time you can make a well in the middle and add your egg in the middle & scramble.  You could also add green onion top.

Serve and enjoy!

Original Recipe

You Won’t be Single for Long Penné Vodka Recipe

Oh you guys are in for a treat!! It has been ages since I made this yummy dish, and it’s so comforting and elegant, and yet EASY!!  Rachel Ray coined it her, “You won’t be Single for Long Penne Vodka” and boy was she right on the money!  I made it for Joe back in 2008 and by 2009, we were engaged.  12 years later I’m still making it!  You can dress it up by adding shrimp, but honestly I love it just the way it is.  I made it for a date night in last Saturday night and it did not disappoint. Don’t skip the crusty bread!!

You will need:

1 can of crushed tomatoes

1 box of penne pasta

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1 cup of chicken stock

1 cup of vodka

1 shallot

(it also calls for garlic, but I don’t add)

fresh basil

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of butter

Sauté your shallots in butter and oil.

Add your vodka and reduce.  Add chicken broth and crushed tomatoes.  Simmer.

Boil your pasta while it simmers and warm your crusty bread!!  Also, stir in your cream right before it’s time to add the pasta.  Stir in fresh basil.

If you can, let it sit for a bit so that the pasta can absorb the delicious sauce.

Even if you’re already taken, or have no desire to be wifed up, you should still make this comforting meal!  It is a great meal to make ahead of time and keep warm if you’ve got guests coming over too.   Add a side salad, grab some red vino and enjoy!

 

Original Recipe here.

Let me know if you try it!

Weekend Vibes

Friday was little man’s BIG 5 year birthday!! Both of us were able to go into his preschool class and help out.  They kept us busy!

He got to blow out the 5 year old candle as we sang happy birthday one last time…

After preschool we took Bradley to get his “Ham and Cheese Broissant” and Joe and I grabbed lunch downtown.  We then hit up Home Depot for a new rug & lamp!  With real fires, the logs can roll out and splatter ashes/pieces onto the rug and it ruined the old one.  I am trying to preserve this one by keeping an older rug on top!  I love the look of it.

We had to grab a new lamp too because the base of our old one shattered and was a mess every time I went to move it.  When I saw this one I got a little too excited, as there is a reading lamp!  Our high ceilings make it hard to keep it bright in the living room so this white is perfect!

When Brookie got home we then hit up good old Chuck E Cheese for some birthday fun!  We all had a ball playing games, eating pizza and drinking fountain drinks.  We need to do more outings like this in the Winter!

And before bed, I had “my baby is 5 cry”.  It happened with Brooke and I knew it was a matter of time, and I made him come over and snuggle with me a few minutes…how on earth has 5 years gone by so fast? So much has changed and I am so grateful to be your mommy Bradley boo!  You love playing video games, but you also love running around pretending you’re playing football.  You love curling up with Bailey on the couch and watching Bluey with your sister.  You’re my little buddy and I’m not quite sure what my life will be like when you go off to school full day.  I know it will be great for you, but goodness you keep me on my toes every day!  I love you so much baby boy.  You can be a complete goofball or super sensitive, serious and sweet.  You’re my little bubba-dooz.  I love you!

I am missing the kids as I drove out to my dad’s in a snowstorm to drop the kids off so they could watch them so Joe could have a colonoscopy done.  (that Crohn’s life) I was happy to make it home and put my feet on the ground because that drive was NOT FUN!

 

Saturday night I made a yummy dinner–an oldie but goodie! I’ll share the recipe this week.  Vodka Penné on a cold night is divine! We celebrated our “12 years” together anniversary by the fire and wrote down some dreams to be tucked away and opened again in 5 more years.

img_7318

I’ve been focusing on my workouts more (I need it more emotionally/mentally than physically I think!!) I love this quote.

img_7319

 

Sunday we took an old “Jenn and Joe Sunday drive” and checked on the two houses we are fixing up.  I’m so excited as both kitchens are super gorgeous!

This flooring is stunning!  I’ll share more in depth on the kitchen renovations in an upcoming blog.

I supported my friend Cathy as she is donating to the Ronald McDonald House.  I love giving and the beer bread and soup is such a tasty meal!  You can give too if you would like, Paypal Cathy at: cagallag235@gmail.com

And we ended our weekend with watching our boys win their game against the Packers!  Onto the Super Bowl we go!  I can’t wait to see them take on the KC Cheifs!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  As my 5 year old said, “He had a dream and it was that we be nice to everyone no matter what.”  Good advice little dude as I am always striving to be nice, no matter what.

Christmas Recap!

Christmas was so good this year!

Christmas eve we always spend at Joe’s Grandma’s house.  We have a nice dinner with aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  The kids love going there!

 

 

Christmas morning Santa has come and all of the presents are stacked under the tree.

I just love our tree- the colored lights remind me so much of when I was a kid, it’s so fun to see all of my kids artwork too.

After we exchanged just us 4 Christmas morning, my family came over to enjoy some food and gifts.  We had quite the spread!

Smoked bacon wrapped scallops & shrimp—hubby does them so good!

Standard Cranberry muffins from the box, paying tribute to my grams.

My friend Amie recommended this simple (and amazing) appetizer!  It was Tieghan Gerard’s 3 Ingredient Blue Cheese Bites.  Even my sis who hates blue cheese said they were good! *warning, you’ll want to eat the entire thing yourself.

My step mom brought this delightful fruit, cream cheese & croissant bake! It was the perfect mix of sweet and decadent.

These were the biggest hit with –including the kids!! It calls for a bourbon but I just used maple syrup…  Maple Sausage Crescent Rolls

One of the coolest (thoughtful) gifts was from my sister Bri!  She saw me tag Joe on Facebook about this bubbly.  She totally got it for us!  We are hoping to sip it during the Super Bowl Win! #goniners

My sister and I.

I won a pair of these fun jammies from my girl Katie at Thrifty Cactus, aren’t they adorable?!

Last minute decision to spoil the stinky big dog Bailey…

The aftermath…

Little man and mama played some Nintendo in the basement.

It always goes by so quick, but I do enjoy the memories!