Tea With Me

Happy Friday friends!!  It’s gonna be a busy, but GOOD one, I can feel it! I saw a super fun post idea over at Chelsea’s Blog The Girl Who Loved to Write — so adorable, go check her out!!  Her post is “Coffee Date: Four Cups in” and while I don’t drink coffee, we all know I love my tea!!

So I’m sipping on some Earl Grey de la Creme with warmed vanilla soy milk and figured I’d take a few minutes to chat with you! If you were sitting with me enjoying some tea, I’m sure we would have SO much to talk about.  The sun is shining, and we are all dying for some warmer weather! 38 degrees is not Spring.  It is trying though, the sun and the warm weather that is…

…I jumped on the ‘preset bandwagon’ and am trying out some fun filters. #iwantaprettyinstafeedtoo I am laughing at myself, you can laugh too.

…I’d tell you that I’m really looking forward to Bailey getting some formal dog training. We love her dearly, but she’s a beast and we cannot wait to get a better handle on her.

…I have not been great about going to the gym.  I was putting ME first for a bit and it was working, but this whole working, mom life/wife life thing crept right up on me again! Boo.  I have been walking the dogs, doing a little yoga at home, but it’s not the same.

…We have no big plans this weekend other than Brooke’s dance photos.  It’s also hard to top the Disco last weekend, so I guess low key means that I can read my TBR book pile?

…Speaking of I’m LOVING the current book that I am reading,  Daisy Jones & The Six.  I’m totally calling it a slow burn–as in I hold it and love the words that I’m reading, but am sincerely savoring them instead of flying through it like I do sometimes.  I legit told my husband I felt sorry for him yesterday, because he doesn’t love books the way that I do.  It’s hard to explain, but man the smell, the feel of the pages, and a really good book–there is nothing like it!! I highly recommend this one if you’re a literary lover and a fan of music.

…I’m currently listening to Start with Why on audible.  Fascinating stuff I tell ya! If you’re a lover of learning or in business for yourself or even run/manage a team of others, you’d get a lot out of this one.  I was blown away by the part on Southwest airlines and also why Apple was so successful.

…In other book news, I received an advanced reader copy of The girl He Used to Know and it launched this week.  It’s SUCH a beautiful story–it’s also one that I have a hard time putting into words.  You just need to read it; I don’t want to ruin a single second of it for anyone!  It really is worth the read.

…I’m trying to figure out which direction to send my son as far as sports go.  We tried a little soccer thing last year, but he ran off the field a lot and it seemed a bit overpriced for what it was.  Brooke has her dancing but Bradley is 4 and needs something.  I’m thinking this Summer I’ll get him into the Y or something.  I know he has A LOT of energy and needs to be around other kiddos and under someone else’s supervision than just mine!

…My spray tan is fading and that makes me sad! LOL I need to order some new faux tan lotion or at home spray.  What’s your fave??

…I’m already experiencing Spring Break envy.  We have no plans to travel anywhere and I wish that we did! We are going to go away this Summer though, so researching is in full effect.  Any suggestions for 2 kiddos 4 & 6?! We loved Lake George and had a ball last year in South Carolina, but we aren’t sure where to travel to next…

…I need to head back to Trader Joe’s and check out their goods again! It’s been some time and when I was there last, this tea (what inspired these thoughts!) caught my eye. What are your TJ favorites?

Have a fabulous weekend!

Healthy Food Hacks

I’ve been making real efforts to eat mindfully & healthy again.  Trust me, I know it’s not easy to make every meal a homemade, from scratch, perfectly balanced etc.  I have however, really been listening to my body and eating my 5-6 small meals a day since I did my 10 Day Cleanse a few weeks ago. Here are some ways I work on keeping myself and my family healthy!

I believe in real food 80% of the time and give 20% wiggle room for life’s fun things, like french fries and sweets.  I also think top notch vitamins are important to keep us healthy and that all things begin and end in the gut!

Check out your local grocery store’s freezer section.  There are some amazing options for smoothies these days!! I added water and this was packed with lots of veggies, flax, hemp seeds, fruits etc.  I also noted it did not have a lot of sugar, but I failed to take a photo. oops!  It was super healthy and yummy.

Kimchi is so good for our guts!  Pre & Probiotics will help your digestive system get back up and running, plus it has a great flavor, so you can add it to so much! I love the simple snack of sourdough (also good for guts in moderation!)

Super easy breakfasts– Soft boiled egg & a packet of oatmeal.

I also love a good over easy egg with cooked spinach; I will sometimes use a little cream cheese on my ezekial toast to get that bagel feel haha! A little turkey bacon & Everything but the bagel seasoning and you’re good to go.

Sheet pan dinners are super quick and a great way to eat healthy AND use up food in the fridge.  I use whatever I have on hand, sprinkle some seasoning and bake at 375 for about 45 mins – an hour.

KIDS

I started utilizing a simple strategy for our meals last week.  Kids love meatballs, so I think I’ll do “Meatball Monday.”  I phoned it in and used frozen meatballs, threw them in the oven.  I served them “butter noodles” in this case I used whole wheat pasta, a little butter, salt & evoo.  I also gave the kids green beans for the veggie and some pasta sauce to dunk in.

Another fun/easy hack is to grab a muffin tray and fill it with all the things.  I try to use up anything we have leftover in the cupboard and add fruits or veggies too.  Bradley had requested a PB & J as well, so I made sure to have that for him!  This keeps them from asking me for a snack five million times! Plus, when giving my kids options, they are learning what healthy food is and ‘junk food.’ I don’t want them to fear sugar and junk but I also don’t want to make a big deal about it.  I teach them to eat til their bellies are full.  I think our approach works well.

Family pizza night!!  The kids LOVE helping out, so we grabbed some pizza crusts and created our own pizzas.  I love the cauliflower pizza crusts, so I made those for me.

We love the downtown butcher/restaurant McCann’s, but sometimes I just can’t handle all the buns, grease etc.  They have an amazing Butcher salad that is so good!! The dressing is bomb and their steaks never have any antibiotics etc.  Super yummy!

I saw this on Insta and I want to re-create it!! I am loving granola and smoothies, plus the new Advocare Bodylean does not have a weird protein taste—it’s a need for staying on track!

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This looked yummy too, so I figured I’d save it here to refer back to it.  Have you tried anything like this?

I’ve added collagen back into the mix again, because hello—I’m nearing 40 people!!

From the site:  Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and helps give structure to our hair, skin, nails. However, as we age, the production of collagen levels in our body decreases. AdvoCare Glow Collagen contains 5,000 mg of marine collagen peptides that function to support our body’s natural collagen production.* Silica, sourced from bamboo extract, complements the collagen and supports the strength and elasticity of the skin.* Additional antioxidant Vitamin E helps to promote healthy skin cell function.*

Perfect berry taste to sip on while I read some of my new book!

I’m also crushing on these protein cookie dough bars!!  Some store bought bars hurt my belly but I never have an issue with these.

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Another hack I’ve been using is these tasty ready to drink protein shakes.  I will leave it in the car (on cold days, or in a cooler with an ice pack) and after a gym workout, I can easily refuel!

My gym routine- I take 2 catalyst before my workout (about a half hour) and then during my sweat sesh, I drink a rehydrate.  I was getting really dehydrated when I first joined the gym again, and I didn’t feel well at all.  Since upping the electrolytes, my workouts are better and I feel stronger!

Another fun drink I throw into the mix are the Advogreens.  I have the berry flavor and it’s tasty!  This is packed with probiotics and excellent for gut health.

We all know how much I love me some Starbs, but I think we can agree that too many trips will empty the bank account and make the pants not button!!

I love Lady Grey Tea with some hot water and then I’ll use my milk frother and steam some vanilla soy milk.  It’s so good!

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These little chocolate dipped almonds are great when I want a little sweet/salty treat!

What are some ways that you keep you and your family healthy while being busy?

 

*Follow my Instagram stories, as most of these photos were pulled from there!* JennDelleFave

GYM TIME = ME TIME

I will be the first to admit, it’s so hard for me to stick with a strict workout schedule. I was in an amazing groove last year when we joined the YMCA, but decided last August that I’d cut that expense and that we didn’t need to pay that much since I knew Brooke would be in school full time.  I figured I’d go back to some at home workouts and be just fine…

Well to be honest, it wasn’t.  I did do a Stepbet which helped me keep active early Fall, but once the weather turned (I don’t love the cold, but mostly the ice! It gets so darn slippery out there!) I was definitely not as active and was losing muscle, gaining fat, not fitting into my clothes and feeling like POO!

So I decided to take matters into my own hands (stop being a victim) and checked out a local women’s only gym that is less than half the price of the Y.  Sure it doesn’t have all the cool amenities for the kids, no pool, no gymnasium, no “Mystery Cavern” but you know what it does have?  A small, clean child care center with lovely ladies who love on my kiddos.  And for $2 an hour, per kid, I can’t beat that!

I mostly noticed a huge difference in my needing to be around other women.  Even if I’m not necessarily socializing, I feed off that positive energy especially in a class like Zumba or Turbokick. I am loving my small group trainings I do once a week where I am pushed beyond my comfort zone and literally feel like it’s a personal training sometimes when the group is super small.

Some days I don’t feel like going, but I still push past it.  I may only walk on the treadmill for a half hour and then sit in the dry sauna for a bit.  I can’t tell you how amazing the heat feels on my skin, bones and muscles! I make sure to drink lots of electrolytes as I noticed I felt a little dehydrated after some intense workout sessions or the sauna.  I also use the time to maybe sit in quiet and plan out my day or read a few pages of a book.  I usually only book an hour with the kid room, so I use it wisely.

I love cute hats and headbands to help hide the dirty hair and plus I sweat a lot!! I also have been dropping Bradley off at Preschool, going to the gym and have managed to get home and shower before picking him up again! I feel like a total rockstar on those days.

This week is February break and I feel a little bad I scheduled the gym every morning, so there haven’t been any lazy days, but honestly? I feel so great afterwards and the kids got out of the house, played with other toys/kids and I just explain how mommy feels better working out! I think batman enjoys himself a lot too.

They are the reason I push harder every day.  I know that I need to be in great shape so that I can keep up with them for the rest of their lives!  I also want to model how important is is to take care of our health, at any age.

I never regret working out, but I always get down on myself when I break that promise to myself.  I have made sweating a non-negotiable lately and while things do come up and I may not workout every day, I will say that I am active most days!  Prioritizing myself has really lifted my spirits and made me do everything else so much better.

I know that my to do list won’t get ever be complete, but skipping a workout never helps the overall cause.  I do listen to my body and rest when I need to, but having access to a treadmill in the dead of winter I believe is helping me with some Seasonal Depression issues. (Not that I’m diagnosed, but I do believe lack of sun and the abundance of cold is hard sometimes!)

I still want to checkout some different classes, but it’s a great rhythm I’m in right now and I’m proud of myself for putting myself on the top of my priority list. I don’t know why it is so hard as a mom, but the saying is true. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Staycation Re-cap

My favorite part of Joe taking off from his full time job?  Being able to be around for the little things.  I love that he’s able to get outdoors and hunt; it’s truly his only passion/hobby outside of the kids, myself & working hard/making money.

We started out the week with some warmer weather, so it was nice to take a walk with Bradley and Holly.  Brooke had some homework so I had Joe help her.  When we got back from the walk, they had turned it into a game show and she was a spelling machine!

Tuesday Brooke had a half day and we got dressed up to go out to lunch.

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The sun was shining, there were blue skies and the leaves were hitting the last of their peak colors.

After lunch we went to a mall to look for some work pants for Joe, but Banana Republic was just gone!  It’s so sad to see brick and mortar stores closing left and right.  The kids had fun playing in the play area though!

I took a lot of time to self-reflect, hone in on what makes me happy and felt a huge shift in my spirits.

Joe snuck in plenty of hunting time and while Brooke danced, Bradley and I went to the library.  It seems to be our new thing!

I had some early morning wake-ups; Joe likes to be out of the house by 6 am (or so?) and I get up to make him a hearty breakfast.  Bailey enjoys the alone time after he leaves.  It’s just us two until the kiddos wake up.

I saw this and started implementing it.  Being present in every day moments seems to help any feelings of ill ease, overwhelm, stress or anxiety.

I saw Bradley’s turkey at preschool and couldn’t resist snapping a pic.   His neck/head may be a little lower than it should be, but isn’t that what makes it perfect?

Getting to the gym a few times a week has been such a game changer for me.  Releasing toxins, sweating out the day’s stress and focusing on my health is so important.  I can never forget this again!

I feel very open to the universe lately and seem to be receiving all sorts of signs, quotes, affirmations and know that I am in good alignment.

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We finally put in a new rug in our living room again.  It’s been since March (when we got Bailey as a puppy) and she’s pretty much house trained I would say 98%.  It’s nice to have a rug again!

I took this one to Wegmans for lunch after school and clearly this photo says it all.  Pizza is life.

We even got out on a Friday night date night!!

We checked out a swanky new place, Skybar.  It was pretty cool!  We went super early since Joe wanted to go hunting the next day, so it was not busy at 9pm, obvs.  They had champs so all was well!  We can’t wait to go back and check it out when it’s busier.

This girl decided to hang out with her doll finally!! It was pretty cute.  Santa may have to bring some fun accessories for her!

I started this book! I was lucky enough to score an advanced reader copy and so far so good!! I love me a good thriller and the authors wrote one of my favorites from 2018, The Wife Between Us.

I ended the week with some family time, baking pies with my step-mom and sister.  The apple pie was delish!  Here’s to more family fun coming up for Thanksgiving.

Have you ever “staycationed”?  We do it every year so hubby can hunt. I can’t say that I mind it one bit!!

Weekending

Thursday

I kind of count Thursday as the weekend, only because I snuck out of the house for a bit! First I brought these two to the dentist.  Perfectly normal and healthy checkups.

After running a few errands, Joe and I met up for a quick lunch! I kept it cleanse friendly by getting some edamame, and sashimi.  I kept the soy sauce to a minimum and really loved on the lemon!

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After lunch I got a quick mani!

After that I did sneak up to the mall for a few new bras. My friend told me how amazing the non-underwire t-shirt bras from VS were, and man she was right.  What is it about a new bra that makes you just feel like a brand new woman?!

I also scooped up a new book and stopped into Old Navy for some new clothes for my ever growing kids.

Friday

I had a hair appointment at 10, so Joe brought Brooke to school, brought me to the salon, and then took Bradley on some errands to check on the houses.  They picked up Brooke from pre-k, came back to the salon so that Joe could get his hair done and get me.

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We tried out a yummy new Ramen place in the city and we all enjoyed! (no, it was not cleanse friendly–I gave most of my noodles to Joe, but I did enjoy the broth and it warmed us all up!

Right after nap time our big girl lost her first tooth!!

The tooth fairy came and left her two dollars.
She was so excited!

Saturday

I made sure to get my booty to the gym.  The kids love going to the Y, mostly for the “Mystery Cavern” because they can run, climb, play on mats, foam toys etc.

I did an upper body workout: shoulders, triceps and biceps.

I am obsessed with our Crush it Bag (back in stock in April!)

We had a date night at Char, one of our favorite restaurants in the city. I so badly meant to get a photo of the two of us, but all I have is this random shot he took of me. I just love the vibe in this place.  Dinner was phenomenal, the bubbly was fantastic and we thoroughly enjoyed a night of adult conversations!

Sunday

We laid really low, like really really low… no big Super Bowl parties, I didn’t cook a huge feast, we just kind of hung around and I’m not going to lie, it was glorious.

I totally paused my cleanse Saturday/Sunday.

I will be resuming my clean eating and the stricter regime today!

I saw this quote that one of my Stella sisters shared and I just thought it is so appropriate, especially for the month of February!

 

What was your favorite part of your weekend?