10 Tips While Being Home with Kids

First off, I will start by saying we have a unique situation when it comes to Covid-19.  My husband has Crohn’s Disease and to help manage his symptoms, he recently started taking a biologic. It seems to be helping a lot, but that said, his immune system is highly compromised. We are extremely fortunate that we can work from home, but we have self-quarantined since last Friday.  No one in, no one out.  We are hunkered down with the kids, dogs and other than walks outside we don’t plan on going anywhere. I am pretty passionate about this isolation because of  my loved ones and their compromised immune systems. For the love, people, please just stay home. The virus cannot live long on surfaces but it needs people to infect to survive. If we all just stay in, this will blow over faster…

With that said, I came up with a list of 10 ways to not go too crazy during this time of social distancing. I am remaining optimistic and hope that I can help give some light into what our days will look like.  No, it will not be all sunshine and roses. Yes I am sure we will be experiencing cabin fever and there will be way too much screen time, but I’m a type A so I have to have some sort of plan…so here goes:

  1. Take time to reflect. I probably do this too much already, but go through old photos, and really see how beautiful your life is.  Maybe they are FB photos, instagram, or hard copies.  Maybe you’ve never made photo books and now could be the time you create some on Snap Fish or Sometimes we get wrapped up in the day to day and don’t stop to reflect at how awesome life has been for us.  In 10 quick years I have gotten married, had 2 babies, raised those babies to 5 and 7 year old amazing kids.  Gotten 2 dogs, grew a business, maintained an amazing marriage…the list goes on.  None of it is without a ton of work, but when you stop and see just how far you’ve come, it should make you feel really good inside.  And if not?  Well, maybe now is the time to truly make those changes.  Take this as an opportunity to become better than you were yesterday.
  2. Cook something new.  (shelf cooking, chopped chef, include kids and husband) Okay, real talk.  We stopped eating out last week. We don’t want anyone touching anything else from last Thursday on. The one thing I am a little ehhhhhh about is cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner, for goodness knows how long here.  While I did start stocking up a few days before the herd, I still didn’t make a bunch of freezer meals or plan out a bunch of meals.  I legit started buying more of what we typically eat and now I have enough food for us for awhile, but it’s going to take some creativity here.  I am also not wasting ANYTHING.  Use those leftovers and eat what will spoil first.  From there, start pulling from your freezer and pantry.  Jordan Page is SUCH an inspiration for shelf cooking.  I’m thinking I may have a little “chopped chef” adventure and give everyone a little something and tell them create your own meal!  I dunno the details yet but I can see us using the smoker, the BBQ, the grill, the fire pit…we will have fun and get super creative.  Think, sheet pan meals, using instant pots, slow cookers, air fryers, foil packets, skewers, whatever odd kitchen gadget you’ve got, now is the time to pull it out! Have fun! And please please please share some meal ideas with me!!
  3. Read from my own library. Libby, Overdrive, Hoopla.  Granted, I had a feeling we would be going into ‘lockdown mode’ so I made sure to pick up some books at my library. If you didn’t have that chance, I bet you may have a book (or 10) laying around that you just haven’t gotten to.  Now’s your chance!  You can also check out those above e-book services, or even Audiobooks, to get your imagination up and running about something other than this virus.  Reading does wonders for your mind, body and soul.  It always takes me away and I know you will enjoy it too! Share your favorite books below!
  4. Write.  Journal, blog, start that book…for me, writing has always helped me sort my thoughts, figure out tricky emotions and really clear my headspace.  Even if you just pull out a notepad and brain dump a list of activities you’d like to do while you’re home, I bet it will make you feel a tad better.  Worried about food? Go through and write down your inventory. I bet you’ll be surprised at how much you have and what you could do with it. If you’re feeling alone, share a post on instagram, FB or even email or text someone.  You are not alone.  This is uncharted territory for all of us and it’s okay to feel whatever emotion you are feeling.  Get the feelings out of your head and onto the paper…trust me!
  5. Face-time with friends and family.  We try to make efforts with people to chat, but we all get so busy! Well, here is our chance to charge up those phones and iPads and connect! Set a “tea date” with your mom.  I actually already do that since my mother is down in SC and I am in NY, but do it with everyone.  Playdates cannot happen, but your kids will get a kick out of seeing their friends virtually.  Maybe have them play games or show off cool drawings, or forts, whatever activity has gone on.  I think there are some epic lego creations about to go down in this house.  Call your sister, your friend, the babysitter, your aunt who lives super far away.  We are all going to need some connection because we are all going through this together!
  6. Homeschool. While you don’t have to take the whole day, it seems as though most districts have provided something for our children.  You can try to utilize the colored ‘Covid Homeschool’ graphic, or totally wing it. Whatever you want, you’re in charge! I’m going to post our daily ideas on my Instagram stories. (because I like to do this kind of stuff and I love sharing!)  I have a First grader and one in Pre-K.  I know I am biased because I was a teacher and heck, I’ve been “playing school” with my little sisters for as long as I can remember.  The point is, try to break up your days with some educational fun.  Pinterest has a ton of ideas, Instagram Busy Toddler, Scholastic, I can share more if you’re interested! But really, don’t make it complicated.  Count as you’re baking, measure as you’re cooking.  Go to an online museum and talk about whatever your kid is into right now!  Simply reading to your child WILL make a world of difference.  Don’t make this hard.
  7.  Move my body.  30 minutes MINIMUM.  I am going to try to something in the morning and something in the afternoon or evening. TIU app, walks outside, BeachBody on demand, You Tube, Just Dance or even dance parties in general.  Listen, I get that being cooped up and missing things is hard. We LOVE the Ugly Disco and that was cancelled last week.  We weren’t going to go as soon as we realized how serious this Covid-19 was.  But the more I move, lift weights, feel my blood flow through my body even in a 10 minute yoga session, I just feel better. Period.  Have you seen the videos from Italy where music is blasting and people are out on their balconies dancing around? Be like them.
  8. Connect with my family.  I plan on lots of chats…dreams for our future, looking through old photos, playing board games with Joe and the kiddos.  I think we may do some “date nights in” where we feed the kids an easy dinner and we can cook up something for us while they watch tv upstairs.   I also want to have family movie nights and make the time to play all together.  If you think about it, when (other than vacations) do we get this much time to be all together?  I’m aware that my tune will change sometime into this whole ordeal, especially if we really are stuck inside for months, but still…it is really a unique opportunity.
  9. Watch movies and TV.  (escape) I don’t make the time to watch shows because we live a really busy life and I leave little room for me to get sucked into Hulu, Netflix etc.  But during this time of isolation, I think it’s best for me to allow some time away from reality.  So far I have on my radar: The Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Little Fires Everywhere, The Morning Show, Harriet Tubman and Frozen 2–I think we are the only family with little kids who hasn’t seen it yet!
  10. Be grateful and think positively.  It’s scary. It’s an uncertain time.  I am right there with your friend.  How will bills get paid if there is no job? How will we get more food if we run out? There are so many unanswered questions and at this time no one has the answers.  However we cannot fixate on the what-ifs and question all the things.  We just have to take it day by day and count our blessings. I am still writing in my “Start Today Planner” where I list 5 things I am grateful for and 10 dreams down as if they already happen. We will be okay and we will get through this.  Think about the stories we will tell our grandchildren, or even great grandchildren!

Most importantly, don’t stress during this time.  Try to make the most out of this!

Find me on Instagram JennDelleFave and let’s be there for each other!!

Friday Favorites

TGIF lovely people!! It’s a fabulous day, to have a fabulous day!!

I figured since I went kinda deep in my life coaching post yesterday, I’d be a little more lighthearted and share some of my favorites from July/in general~

I am currently reading this hilarious book!  It’s on my Kindle app on my iPad and I am loving it’s quirky, snarky read.  The class mom sends highly inappropriate e-mails out to her son’s class, you know, the kind where most parents are getting offended and she has NO filter.

I also just picked up this book, but I haven’t read much of it to give any detail. I’ve just seen so many trusted book instagram influencers rave about it, I had to give it a go!

If you’re looking for a new pair of leggings, these ombré pair are so amazing!! I mentioned them in my insta-stories when I unboxed, but I love them even more after trying them on!  A size small fit great and for $16, I cannot rave about them enough.  There are a few colors to choose from, I got the orange.  Pictured below, are the Pink.

I adore this lace v-neck tank for date days or date nights.  Just $14.99 and coming in multiple colors, (I grabbed black) I think it’s the perfect tank for Summer and also easing into Fall, just throw a blazer or jean jacket over it.  Super cute and with some fancy statement earrings or necklace, you can dress it up even more. (I prefer it front tucked and maybe if belted, as it does have a looser fit. I grabbed a Small.)

Another clothing item, are these super cute Lulu dupe shorts ringing in at $24.  They have a back zip pocket (to hold keys or cards) and they have a tight under layer and looser outer short.  Great for running and they are comfortable. I sized up to a medium (8-10) as I do prefer shorts to be a looser fit.  I honestly love the waist band and would love another pair! I’ve seen some influencers with them and my bestie swears by them too.

I’m not sure if you’ve gotten into the hair clip trend, but I have been wanting to get some cute clips and this batch does not disappoint! Do a side part, some dry shampoo and voila, your days old hair will look a little extra! At just $13.99 these are going to be on rotation. My daughter loves them too.

Speaking of Brooke, she has been at dance camp and needed a new leotard because she’s just growing like crazy!  I thought for under $13 this was just adorable. She loves the fun straps and the material is nice as well.  I got her black, since the studio requests black leotards and pink tights for competition, and she’s auditioning for it during this camp.  (Wish her luck!)

I actually ordered my birthday dress off Amazon too!  Under $26 and very flattering, I ordered a small.  I love all the colors, but I went with black since every girl needs a few good LBD in her wardrobe.  I love that you could wear it off the shoulder or one shoulder. It’s nice and fitted, but has a draping top over it too. 

I am obsessed with this foundation right now.  It gives just enough coverage without looking too ‘made up’ if that makes sense.  You can layer it with the liquid foundation for more coverage as well.

Typically I use the complexion rescue, below, but I wanted something a little less dewey and that Bare pro seems to be doing the trick!  My shade is Natural 05.

I also scooped up this mascara and really love it for daily wear! It’s not clumpy, a decent price and certainly lifts my lashes enough for me.

This one is really random, but SO yummy!  I don’t usually have a sweet tooth, but once in awhile I crave a cookie and don’t want to eat them…I found these and oh gosh, the crunch is perfection!  They are not something I try and eat every day, I usually grab them to throw them in my purse and will eat them in a pinch.  Just a good option to have on hand when you’re on the go!

And, one NOT so favorite was this dress. I had high hopes for it too! It had good reviews and they did say to size up, so I went with a medium.  Ladies, I could not even zip the SIDE zipper (why on earth not just make it a stretchy material??) and the front flaps came up so high, even if I could zip the side, I’d be giving everyone quite the show.  This went back.  Two thumbs down!  Don’t even bother.  Not worth it.  I sent it back. #fakenewswhensizingup

 

What are you some of your favorites this Friday?  I love finding good deals and hearing real people share their go-to products.  I’ll be starting back to school shopping before I know it and I’m thinking I may share some of the top picks for my soon to be 1st Grader and Pre-Kindergartener!  Until then, we will enjoy this gorgeous Summer.

Morning Meltdown 100

I have been struggling with consistent workouts for quite a while. I make excuses, things come up, either way I am ready to do something different.

My girl Lindsay is a Beachbody coach and she’s my go to for my happy mama juice energize which is the bomb!!

I am turning 38 this week and one of my goals is always to be in the best shape of my life. I am grateful for my body but I always wanted to do a little bit more. Have you seen these workouts? Have you tried anything like this? The concept is to work out 100 times in a row. It doesn’t mean you have to do every day, if you miss a day you can double up the next. The workouts are only 20 to 30 minutes and all of the sampling ones I have done and the prep workouts have been awesome!!

I’ll share more on these as I go. I still have my gym membership it’s just been a little tricky to get there with both kids in tow and our wonky non-routine summer routine!  I am thinking I can watch these on my phone to inspire me when lifting too.

I’m ready!

Weekend

Happy Monday! Both kiddos are off this week and I am not bad about it! Our dog has also gone to “puppy training school” so that is an added bonus around these (quiet) parts.

Friday was GORGEOUS! It was the first day where it truly felt like Spring.  It was sunny, warmer and not too terribly windy.  It did rain later at the bus stop, but we soaked up every moment of enjoying the nice weather until then.

I hit up the gym for a 9:15 Zumba class and it felt so great to move and shake.

We checked out this delicious taco joint in the city and holy guacamole it is a MUST do! I honestly love Fridays with my guys.

I tried the get the ‘cleanest’ thing on the menu, which was the Becca bowl.  It was loaded with veggies, lettuce, some rice, pico de gallo, beans, and I got both the baja fish and the shrimp to try.  Joe and Bradley ended up eating my fish, but it was a HUGE portion and so very tasty!

We took a little drive to look at houses and then ended up on a few walks around downtown.  High Falls is pretty cool looking from this pedestrian bridge.

It gets rather windy out on the bridge, but we got to see a train go by too so it made this dude’s day!

 

We were making the “Dino” roar noise here…haha!

 

We also took a quick walk down on the river.

Friday evening we ordered sushi via Grub Hub, booked our SUMMER VACATION plans wooo!!  The kids had a “picnic” dinner in the living room and it was very chill.

Saturday morning I hit up the gym for a quick sweat sesh.  I tried this new coconut water electrolyte drink.  It was pretty tasty!  I am usually not a fan of coconut water, but I enjoyed it.

Saturday night we had a fast dinner at The Rev, as we had plans to see a comedian at 7:30.  Cheers to the good life and all our big plans!

Tammy was HILARIOUS and my stomach is still a bit sore from laughing so hard!

After the comedy show we stopped by Radio Social next door.  There’s a bowling alley and some fun games to play.  The boys had quite the Jenga game going!  It was nice to get out and have some fun.

Sunday was rather uneventful, other than Joe dropping off Bailey at the trainer’s.  I whipped up a quick dinner with some ground venison. I kind of just googled “pasta bake” and added whatever I had left in the fridge. Result?  We loved it! The kids don’t seem to love pasta mixed with sauce and meat, but they did eat it.  I added cheese and pepperoni on top and call it “pizza pasta” in hopes they eat it haha.

After dinner the boys played legos and Brooke read her Kinder take home book to us.  After the kiddos went to bed, we wanted to watch a movie. (Note, we are the 1% who has never seen Game of Thrones!) We ended up with Wolf of Wallstreet, ya know because we have not seen it 50x already…but it’s all good because, you know, #leo.

It’s a chilly 39 today, overcast and rainy.  I guess it will warm up later in the week though!  I have some plans of working on my Life Coaching (more coming on that soon!) and spending some QT with the kids and I plan on hitting the gym later on.  Are you on Spring break? What are your fun plans?

Weekend Wrap Up

Flew by, didn’t it?! It always does.  Friday was a nice start, as Joe had off and Brooke went to school.  After I made everyone breakfast, I sipped some pre-workout and hit the gym.  I didn’t do anything crazy, but I did some cardio and bi/tris. I love this new top from Fabletics! It’s a pretty color, comfortable and fits well.  I grabbed a small.

Friday afternoon we did our final walkthrough at our Canandaigua rental.  It looks so good!  Aaron from Canandaigua Contractors LLC did a phenomenal job.  He had a lot of work to do, re-do and really do it right.  The flooring is stunning and we adore the open kitchen/living room.

It will look so cute with some pops of color with accent rugs, some plants & furniture.

I love that there are windows at the kitchen sink, and we continued the subway tile as a backsplash here as well.  It has a beautiful flow and we are so happy for the newest renters to call this home!

Last but definitely not least, the bathroom is clearly the favorite!  Subway tile, the tile floors, new vanity, toilet, lights– camera action!  Seriously my favorite bathroom we’ve done to date.

I got my Advocare goodies and about died when I saw that this was the sample.  Grape Spark was my absolute favorite, but since I can’t seem to drink Spark (or coffee) any more, I was so sad.  Around Christmas they launched a little sample bag of fun Rehydrate flavors and Grape was inside!! The kids and I pretty much fought over that flavor! I can’t wait for it to be available for Summer!

I finished up this amazing book Friday night.  I did not want it to finish too quickly, but like all good things it had to come to an end.  SO GOOD!! It’s about a fictional 1970’s rock band and it’s told from the band character’s point of view.   This CBD tea is tasty too!

Sunday morning I took this beautiful dancer to her photos.  She is dancing to “Material Girl” and “Glow”– some Disney princess song, super cute!

After dance pics, we of course hit up Starbucks!! She looks way too old here!

While we had our fun girl time, the boys (and Bailey!) were at the land hunting for Dinosaurs.

Is this not the perfect photo?! This dog is a huge amount of my stress, but I do believe it’s mostly because she belongs here.  She needs this place to roam and run free.

Our afternoon was so low key— I did some blog planning and just felt creative and inspired to get some posts organized, yay!  It was nice to just ‘be.’

Dinner Sunday night was courtesy of Joe!! I had something kind of planned, but asked if Joe could run to the store to get some ingredients to finish dinner…well after he watched some show with Gordon Ramsey, he was convinced he needed to make chicken wings!

He did some of the “OG” wings.  It’s a BBQ rub, smoked for an hour in the smoker and then grilled to get a little crisp.

THESE however, may have just up-leveled the wings yet again.  He saw Ramsey use corn starch and it made the wings a little extra crispy—-whoa nelly!! SO good! It gave them a real ‘fried’ feel, and yet he still smoked & grilled.

This is what I had going in the slow cooker– which is SO yummy!  Now we have this for Cubans and it even tastes like Chipotle’s carnitas.  I will make some rice and make a bowl or something!

I did take a small walk with Holly after dinner and I am so happy the weather is starting to turn.  I think sometimes we don’t think walking is really doing anything, so I am here to remind you, it’s so good for us!! Our bodies are made to move.

 

Happy Monday friends!