Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Have a Happy [and Healthy] Thanksgiving!

Hi friends!!

I am hoping all of you enjoy this time with loved ones.  Whomever you are with, and whatever it is you're doing, take a step back, and enjoy it.  Maybe you're enjoying a "first" with someone; be it a new friend, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, in-laws, or even a baby like us!!

Cherish the time you are able to spend with people, and enjoy it for what it is.  As always, enjoy the food that comes with it too!  I made quick "Tips Video" when it comes to holiday eating.  Just a few things I have picked up these last few days, and I wanted to share with you.  

I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Countdown

The topic for #BEDN on Monday, was "Christmas" as it was exactly one month from yesterday!! I have been compiling a bucket list of sorts, that I really am excited about! This year, we are trying to be more mindful of enjoying the holiday.  Quite frankly, we've already purchased big ticket items that would have taken up room under the tree.  My family has also decided instead of exchanging gifts, we are going to do something all together.  Obviously we will still have a tree and there will be presents from Santa under there!! It is little miss Brooke Lynn's first Christmas and all.  But this year?  I want to really truly enjoy a lot of small things with her as well.

So, I guess this is sort of an Advent idea or what have you, but I won't hold myself accountable for having to do this particular activity on the number day, unless it just happens to work.  These are ideas for all three of us, just myself, or hopefully even friends and family can join in and enjoy the holiday cheer!

1.  Decorate the house! [hubby insists we wait, and I agree...enjoying the moment people!]
2.  Take holiday photos of Brooke
3.  Make peppermint bark & homemade fudge for family, friends, & Joe's co-workers
4.  Make gifts "from Brooke" for grandparents
5.  Visit Park Ave Holiday Festival with friends & family!
6.  Get our tree and decorate it
7.  Make a Gingerbread house
8.  Drive around looking at Christmas lights
9.  Donate toys for tots.
10. Watch a holiday movie!! Elf, Home Alone, something classic! {Last year we watched A Christmas Story}
11. Send out Christmas cards
12.  Partake in a Secret Santa Exchange
13.  Visit Santa at the mall
14.  Bake and frost sugar cookies
15.  Enjoy the hustle an bustle of the holiday shopping
16.  Play with green & red homemade baby play dough
17.  Make or buy Brooke's first Christmas ornament
18.  Play in the snow!
19.  Wrap presents
20.  Host or go to a Christmas themed brunch {or just enjoy mimosas and a sweet breakfast treat!}
21.  Get a red holiday pedicure
22.  Kiss hubs under the mistletoe
23.  Take a snowy morning drive with breakfast sandwiches
24. Build a fire, enjoy hot cocoa and count our blessings
25. Dress up little miss Brooke in her holiday dress for her first Christmas!

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?  You can check out my favorite tradition of "decorating the tree" I wrote a few years back here.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Sunday's #BEDN was "Motivation".  I find that somewhat funny because hubby and I had zero motivation to do much of anything, other than build a fire in our fireplace, keep it going, play with Brooke, and eat a delicious dinner together.  I had a fun and busy weekend; Friday night I babysat my friend's twins, {and then she'll watch Brooke when we need her!} it really helps us keep up with "date nights" --another #BEDN topic I've discussed before on the blog.  It's so very important to get dressed up and have nights out alone, without your kids!! I know it is tough to do, but every time we do it, I feel a little bit more connected to my husband than before.  I think that will always be one of the greatest gifts to give our daughter; two parents who loved each other for better and worse.  Always.
My other girlfriend Ann came out and we spent some quality time too!

Anyway, back to motivation.  Yeah, we relaxed and stayed in our pjs all day---all three of us! I don't recall the last time we did that...but it was heavenly.  We watched movies, a little football and enjoyed each other.  I think those days are important to have once in a great while too, because it really gave me a swift kick in the rear to get moving today!  I had two loads of laundry done, the dishwasher running and did a Jillian Michaels workout all before 10:30.  {Plus the usual getting breakfast ready, taking care of the dogs, baby, Joe's work clothes etc.}  So to have a day of rest, or at least a partial day of rest, I would say is essential in being able to stay motivated.  We all need some down time [some less than others] but in order to stay on top of your game, definitely take a step back and enjoy a little time.

I know I've written before about 'self-help' books, preferably audios.  To hear it over and over, it does something.  It makes you want to strive to be better.  What area you need or want to improve upon, can, you just need to make it a priority.  For me? It's working out. I have the eating down, I have the right nutrients and supplements, but I need to put forth more movement.  It is essential for my well being!  I don't hate working out, {ok sometimes I feel like that} but after I'm done, I never regret breaking a sweat.  Ever.  So why is it so hard to start?

Today I did Killer Buns and Thighs. Wowie!  I feel it already....and I love it!  I don't always love cleaning toilets and let's face it, changing poopy diapers aren't my favorite activity to do with my 10 month old!! But there are some things we just have to do, and some things we just choose to do...or not.  I think one of the best quotes I read in the book The Slight Edge, "What is easy to do, is also easy not to do."  So true! Like the pile of dinner dishes sitting in my kitchen right now.  It'd be easy to do them, but I really wanted to sit and type here on my it was also easy not to do them.  They need to get done, and will get done, but they're not going to be any more fun to do later, when I should have just done them earlier!

I find quotes to be inspiring and motivating.  I have a few hung up around my kitchen.  Not the prettiest to look at, but they do make me think about things.  I also go back to what we surround ourselves with and who we surround ourselves with for that matter.  "What we attract or think about is what we become."  Don't think it's true?  You're lying to yourself.  We as humans feed off of each other; we find common threads and connections; we enjoy that sense of bonding.  Good or bad, it's there.  So why not make it good?  If you're "friends" with someone who is constantly nagging, bringing you down, sucking the life out of you, taking all of your positive energy and twisting it up and throwing it back in a negative little ball....walk away.  It may be hard at first, but it's like any bad habit.  It will make you stronger, happier and healthier in the long run.  Trust me. I know.

So I try to surround myself with people whom I admire, or keep in contact with people that I see myself very similar to.  I have grown up a lot and while I'm not perfect, I do believe I have become a better person than I was before.  I don't like drama or gossip, whereas before it was easy to get sucked into.  I try to see good in everyone and I admit, it's hard at times.  There are some people we just don't click with and you know what? That's okay.  But you don't have to be mean to them or talk badly about them.  It's easy to do, and also easy not to do.

What motivates you?  Any tricks on staying with the workout regime? I'd love to hear!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hobbies & Such

I have started and stopped many hobbies.  There are a few that really mean a lot to me or that I find myself wanting to do more of...

 I really love to bake and cook, but I really scaled back since there are only two of us and we don't really live close by much family.  [However, little miss Brooke is becoming an eating machine and that excites me!!] I hate wasting food and you can only freeze so much! I am excited to get my bake on now that the holidays are near.  I don't really make up my own recipes, but I do sometimes take a few and come up with what seems to work best for us.

What will I be baking?   Cookies, breads, biscotti.  All are very portable to share!!

Cooking?  It has been a very long time and I am dying for some of my FAVORITE macaroni and cheese.  My mom made it when I was younger and OMG it is hands down, the best ever.  It's obviously not something you should eat all the time, but I make it like once a year...and well, that time is coming!  It does freeze well and everyone loves it.  It's worth eating salads for breakfast and dinner and having this for lunch!! Haha and don't forget the Carb Ease!

"Over the Rainbow" Patti LaBelle's Macaroni and Cheese

I also would say another hobby would be blogging.  I try to keep up as often as I can, but I don't let it pressure me ever.  Sure I wish had more time to leave comments, connect with more people, and write every day.  But like everything, you just do what you can and do your best at it.  I've always loved writing and I love reading, so when I began this blog back in 2011, it was the perfect match!! Plus,  with my mom living in SC and my grandma down there too, it's nice they can keep up to date with what's going on...{hi!!!}

I try to read books too. I just love to find good fiction books that just consume me!  I haven't really had a book do that to me since The Help a few years ago.  I carried that book every where I went;  my nose was in it at every free moment I had!! Any good recommendations??  I've read a few leadership books that are great: The Slight Edge and I'm now reading The Traveler's Gift.

I have also mentioned how I love dancing.  When I can get to a Zumba class and I always love that.  I am really making an effort to move more too--I did yoga at home last week a few times, and this week I am dusting off my old friend Jillian Michaels.  I can play it on my new lap top and she can kick my butt any where!  I know if I just keep doing it, I'll keep up with it.  It's starting a routine that I struggle with.

I feel like the iPhone can easily replace all these hobbies...and not in a good way! I don't play games on it, I personally feel like it wastes my time.  However, I do use instagram and scroll Facebook meaninglessly, so I am working on that.  I do like to watch You Tube videos often instead of TV, as I don't really watch any tv.  I learn new recipes, mommy tips, or silly little ways people live their lives.  Some what odd, I know, but I do enjoy it.

So all in all, I do try to keep my hobbies healthy and productive.  I know that Brooke will be really watching me, and paying attention to what I do and how I live.  I can't wait until I can take her to the library and we can pick out books together.  I love turning on music and having a dance party with her already, I can't wait until she can dance all on her own!

What are your hobbies?  What are your thoughts on the smartphones and how they tend to steal some of our 'hobby' time away [or have become our hobby]?

Friday, November 22, 2013


Sadie/Holly photobombing

One of the topics for #BEDN was Fashion.  A few months ago, I hated trying to put together a cute outfit, because none of my clothes really fit well and I was not happy with my body. Now that I've been with AdvoCare and really paying attention to how I'm fueling my body, and what I'm putting into it, I am SO much happier.

I really do love fashion.  I will admit, that as much as I want to, I really can't get into runway fashion that much...I appreciate it; I look at the photos and think it can be very artsy.  But most of the time, I cannot envision myself [or any of my real life friends] parading around in some of those bizarre outfits! I often wonder, how does a particular trend begin?

The scarf?

I remember seeing the girls on The Hills back in 2009, thinking oh wow, I can do that!! I started my scarf collection then, and never looked back.  Until now.  I look at scarves now, but I just don't think I can justify one more?  I feel like I'm always hot anyway, with carrying or caring for Brooke.  I do love that it can dress me up a little, even if I'm in jeans and a long sleeve T.  I just don't know, are they fading? Are they really still in?  It's a chilly winter here, so I feel like they are a necessity, but fashion wise? I don't know if I'll buy that many more.  Who knows, maybe it's just a phase I'm going through. I was obsessed with them when I was pregnant.  [mostly because I knew it would always fit and not just temporarily haha]


I think that I do a good job of balancing some trendy items and investing in classics; i.e., designer jeans, beautiful boots, black dresses. You know, the staples!    I will say, high waisted shorts are not my thing, but if you can pull em off, props to you! I think that and a super red lip and the right hair style can look very Katy Perry errr cute.  I also know that I am 32 and not 18.  I do think it's important to dress your body type and to feel confident in what you're wearing.  I love wearing clothes that my husband loves seeing me in; but I'm lucky because he loves seeing me in leggings and a baggy sweatshirt, jeans and a t-shirt, or an expensive pink dress from Guess he bought for me many moons ago.

My goal this challenge was to get back into my cute sweaters---BAAMM! I nailed it.  Here is a super cute, fitted Banana Republic sweater from 2010.  I paired it with my new skinny Express jeans and a pair of brown boots [I ordered on Amazon $30 last year]

I will admit, I attempted the cuffed boyfriend jean with the jeans are a little too big, my shirt should have been longer, but it was fun for a quick outing to get my nails done.

And a few weeks ago, we had a date night!! I decided to pair my short brown dress with my faux fur and new Aldo boots.  I felt 60's chic and loved it!

And of course, let's not forget about sporty spice.  Sometimes I dig a ponytail, headband and my yoga pants.

No time for mommy to wash her hair in the shower?  Roots are reeeeeally bad?? Throw a hat on.

So while I don't think I have "one style" I definitely find fun in exploring different fashion styles and really, I'm all about the comfort.  If I don't like the way I feel in it, I don't want to wear it.

What are you wearing this Fall?  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sweater Weather [tag]

Hey hey hey!!  I'm trying really hard to blog every day,  but my life keeps getting in the way! hahaha No really, I was going to blog last night but I totally left my laptop over at my dad's, so that my brother could show me how to use it.  {thanks bro!} and so that made me SUPER productive this morning because I didn't have it.  I decided I would partake in the "Sweater Weather Tag" because it's just so darn cute.  I don't know what I'm even supposed to blog about #bedn today! oops!

Here are the questions!

1.  Favorite candle scent?

2.  Coffee, tea, or hot cocoa?

3.  Do you switch up your makeup routine for the season? [or dark or winged eye]

4.  Favorite Thanksgiving food?

5.  Hats or scarves?

6.  Most worn sweater?

7.  Fall nail color

8.  Football games or jumping in the leaves.

9.  Skinny jeans or leggings.

10.  Boots or Uggs?

11. Favorite thing about Fall? [memory?]

12. Song that gets you into the Fall mood or a favorite song at the moment?

13.  What is the weather like where you live?

Feel free to vlog or blog your responses and leave a link below!! Happy Fall!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Favourite Folk

I don't think it's much surprise that my favorite people reside in my home with me.  One I chose to spend the rest of my life with and the little life we created together.  My whole world revolves around them, from sun up to sun down.  I cannot imagine it any other way.  I love being able to make us breakfast in the morning and go on travel adventures when we can.  I know that I am who I am many thanks to so may beautiful people in my life; but my "favorite people" are certainly Joe & Brooke.

{waiting at my Neuro appointment}

Brooke teaches more about slowing down, savoring the moment.  I purposely leave my cellphone on the counter and venture upstairs to her nursery to give her a bottle.  Or we play and be together.  Sure there are times we Facetime with Grandma or Daddy.  We certainly snap a ton of photos too!  But I know how fast these 10 months have gone and I just know the next 17 years are going to fly by as well.  She is so curious and excited about the smallest of things; it really is a childlike wonder.  I love every stinky toe on that baby girl's foot, and the funny little faces she makes my heart melt.  I enjoy staying home and I really look forward to being able to do more fun activities as she grows and learns.  I love the baby stage, but I know when I can see her learning more and more, I'll be having so much fun! I really want her to be well-rounded in all areas in life and I will work so hard to create that for her.

I know I married the right man because he makes me want to be a better person.  I look back at who I was before I met him, and I believe that we truly saved each other.  We have our ups and downs, but we always do and always will come out on top.  He has really taught me so much about the importance of making money; he's taught me that it's good to be selfish sometimes.  Our society is a bit warped in some senses, and somewhere we were taught that money is the root of all evil.  Well guess what? We need money to live.  To eat. To clothe ourselves.  To heat our home. To drive places. To travel and explore and build our minds.  I believe like anything in excess, too much is always too much...and you need to be smart with your money.  We put our health first with spending more money on good whole organic foods.  Buying vitamins that really do help us feel better, {but my 40% discount always helps!} and limiting our food outings to high quality restaurants rather than fast food joints.  We feel better because of it too!  We are rarely sick and don't visit the doctor much at all really; and for Joe having Crohn's I'd say that is worth sharing!  Without our health, we wouldn't be enjoying the quality of life that we so deeply love and cherish.

The only "bad thing" about us?  In our opinion, is that time just goes by way too fast.  How we've been together almost 6 years, I have no idea.  How we are celebrating our child's first birthday in a few short months?? I am beyond confused hah!! It's silly, but I do see us old together.  I see us just sitting on a front porch, watching the sunset, with our old wrinkled hands, fingers intertwined.  He's my best friend.  He's someone that I tell everything's really hard for us to keep anything from the other.

Trust me, I spent many awful dates and got out of some interesting relationships to be where I am today.  I knew that I would find the perfect someone for me, if I just waited long enough...and I was right.  I cannot picture my life any different than what it is right now.  That, in and of itself is so beautiful.  I wouldn't want to spend this crazy life with anyone else by my side.  I am a lucky girl, but he too is a very lucky guy!! We are blessed.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Good News and a few Updates

Hiiiiii!! I'm back and blogging from my brand new computer!! She's so purdy!! I have full ambition to catch up on my #bedn challenge....let's see if it can actually happen!! I'll simply start out by saying, my gosh.  While I wish we were sunning on a beach some place {let's be honest, 19 degrees is freaking freezing here!} I really couldn't be more thrilled with our "stay cation." This was the 3rd year we've done it and I'm really happy.  Joe's a hunter, and while I was worried I'd really miss him and wish "I had gone away on vacation," really it's been so nice to see him relax.  He works so hard, many long hours and not a lot of free time.  He doesn't have a lot of hobbies, he golfs maybe 3 times last summer.  He does play his video games, but hunting? He loves it and it's really great exercise walking the ravine, hills, and just the fields!

Wednesday was our family day, we had a sushi lunch and we ventured out to the mall and saw the new Von Maur store--very chic!  Brooke was a little fussy; she had a runny nose, cough and sneezes. We didn't stay more than 40 minutes and that includes giving her a bottle by the fancy fireplace seating.  We then drove a little bit because it was her nap time; man she is really stuck on our routine, and then stopped at a few stores.  I needed my Vanilla Bean Noel lotion & hand soap.  We also purchased a new garbage--wahoo--such a silly but needed thing to buy.  I finally got to bring Joe to Trader Joe's and that's always fun too!! We picked up some delicious French cut pork chops and he grilled them for dinner.

I will share my video from the other day--when I found out I have no further issues with my brain!! I'm so relieved and probably far too happy to learn it's just early arthritis in my neck.  I am very blessed and it's really putting everything into perspective with life.  I just don't take anything for granted.

I used my phone to record so I was distracted a bit by text messages coming through.  You get the point though.  Thanks again for everyone who wished me well!!

So for today I am still on a de-cluttering mission! I am cleaning out junk we are not using and either donating it or saving for a garage sale.  This girl is ready to organize!!  I just want a clutter free happy home haha!   Make today a wonderful one!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A boo hoo and Holiday treats!

Hello! I'm very sad to say, that my laptop has died. So with that said I am not enjoying blogging from my cell phone. I'm going to have to catch up on my blogs when my new laptop arrives. 

I will enjoy my little family until then. 

In the meantime, check out these holiday products from AdvoCare. They are so delicious. I love to warm up the gingerbread bar, in the microwave, for 15 seconds. It is so yummy!

The meal shake was also scrumptious! Perfect for the holidays. Enjoy some festive food without feeling the guilt!

Hope you're enjoying your day!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

10 Things


I have been SO busy and my computer is acting like a jerk...but I promised myself to blog every day!! NO excuses. So, here is a list of 10 things...

1.  I absolutely love, and recently have been obsessed with jazz music.  It's calming, and quirky and just keeps me feeling good!  I also love Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra 'stations.' It helps the annoying ringing in my ear, while not being too distracting.  I love all music, but for just cooking, cleaning, blogging...mellow music notes please.

2.  I am a pile maker. I have piles of crap laying all around and I hate it.  I want to be ORGANIZED.  I want to have everything in a specific place.  I'm ready to make some major changes around this house.  I'm the CEO of it, so it's about time I just do it. I need o-r-d-e-r in my life people!

3.  I am usually on a News fast.  What does that mean?  It's that I hate watching the news. I usually don't know what's going on, because it's all so depressing.  If it's posted on social media, I'll probably find out that way.  Otherwise, I just don't like watching it.  Besides, sometimes I think we "Allow the media to do our thinking for us," like Ron Reynolds said last night.

4.  I love our house, I don't love our neighborhood.  We live on a cuddlesack.  Every house looks similar.  Neighbors are nosy and not always friendly.  We really want a house in the country; a big yard, wrap around porch, clotheslines, the whole vibe.  I don't like being so close...this whole 'housing track' isn't for us.  Hard part?  We do cherish this home.  It has so many memories already, and we love the layout.  I know when the time is right however, we will move.

5.  I am not afraid to tell it how it is. I'm not afraid of confrontation. I'd rather air it all out, rather than be passive aggressive. I hate the elephant in the room. I believe we teach others how to treat us.  If I'm done with a certain situation, or relationship, I will end it. It is never pretty, but my overall happiness and well being to me means more than anything.  If I don't take care of myself, who else will?  YOU are in charge of your own mental attitude.  You are the one making choices, day to day.  No one else. Just you.  I have a few friends who are rare, and pure, and always always there.  It's not that I'm anti-social, because I believe I am a very nice person, and I know that I'm loyal.  However, if something is stressing me out--I back away for a bit until it calms down.  {or I get into it with the person, and then it fizzles out.}

6.  I am naturally shy; I got a lot better at being talkative and outgoing while teaching, but now that I'm out of the realm of that, it takes me a little while to warm up.  In high school most people thought I was stuck up, but honestly, it's because I was so shy.  I do love the spotlight though; give me a stage and I'd dance my heart husband is the opposite; he's got the gift of gab, but hates being the center of attention.  I wonder what my little Brooke will be like!

7.  I'm about ready to cancel our cable.  Seriously.  I put on Food Network once in awhile, Joe watches ESPN and NatGeo or the History channel...but we have a gazillion stations, our bill is ridiculous.  For what?  I never did finish RHONJ or even get into Miami.  And you know what?  I think it has made me a better mom, wife, friend, business person.  Interesting? Try it.  What we watch, what we do, what we attract, we become [a little Zig Ziglar for ya] Books are better for our minds.

8.  I'm really MAD that there are no 18 month MY FIRST CHRISTMAS outfits haha! My little girl is a big one, and of course she missed Christmas just by a few weeks last year, so now?  I can't find anything that will fit!  It's really not a huge problem, but what the heck?!  I just had to vent.

9.  I don't know how I survived before Spark.  Seriously.  I'm not a Dr. but I do know, I always thought I needed my coffee; which don't get me wrong, I still enjoy a cup from time to time, or a good old fashioned latte.  But, I used to feel fuzzy and just ehhhh.  Now?  I wake up, pound my Spark and I'm good to go! Even my husband loves that I'm awake and lively in the morning, instead of being a groggy B.  I'm telling you people, there is some good stuff in it!! Let me know if you want to try one.  It is life changing. I'm not being dramatic.

10.  I'm absolutely loving watching my little baby girl grow.  It's so bittersweet, as I miss her smushy lil baby body, but I love that she's exploring, crawling, standing, curious...she is really starting to watch me, and do what I do.  She even gave us a hug the other day!! She's not really into cuddling, but when she does, it's so sweet.  I am also very happy my husband and I are on the same page with parenting; we believe in "tough love" and yes, she does cry it out sometimes. [no more than 5 mins usually] We never slept with her in our bed, she's been in her crib from day 2.  I know that if we lay down the ground rules at a young age, it will only get easier as she gets older.  Our parenting philosophy may not agree with others, but it works for us.  I don't want her to be my best friend; I want her to be strong, independent, thoughtful, caring, and her own person.  I really believe our 'soft society' is creating too many dependent individuals, who don't work for things that they want, they simply get them.  She will know a value of a dollar, and how you need to work for everything in life; nothing is handed to you, nothing is free.  That is the greatest gift my parents gave to me and that Joe's parents gave to him [next to their unconditional love] and we want the same for our daughter.

So there you have it, 10 off the cuff, totally random things that popped into my head.  What are 10 things about you!?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 6: Stress

Stress. It's something that is just a part of all of our lives.  Call it a coincidence, I suppose, but today is a tad stressful.  Actually, this week...if you've reading, you may remember back in July when I had an MRI done. {read here and here}  The results were a bit odd, and my neurologist basically told me to get some more MRI's done in November to see if anything has changed, and to check my spine as well. I believe it was due to one spot he saw in my brain that, well, he wasn't quite sure what it was...possibly an MS plaque?  Either way, it's all super scary and nerve-wracking stuff.  Since I learned about my odd findings, I pretty much put it out of my mind.  It wasn't like I had a specific diagnosis, and quite honestly there wasn't anything I could do.  He did stress to me that my blood pressure needs to stay in a healthy range, and that I cannot gain too much weight.  I had just begun my AdvoCare journey, and so it was as if it were perfect timing. 

I chose to focus all my stressful energy, into AdvoCare.  Instead of googling "MS symptoms" or "brain cysts" I read read leadership books.  I connect with people. I focus on all things good, happy, positive and uplifting.  I really try to stay away and out of drama, and I'm really working on being better overall.  I will say that since I've decided to stay at home, I have been far less stressed, for obvious reasons.  I used to worry over every little thing, and while I still catch myself doing so from time to time, I have to tell myself to just stop...

I love yoga and really need to get into that more.  I love long walks. I love jazz music. I love lighting candles and just being present in the moment.  I still have my crazy moments where I lose my cool and yell, or stomp my feet, but I am always working on being better.  I believe that some stress is good stress, but if you're not eating, or eating too much, not sleeping, or sleeping too much, then perhaps you really need to take a look at yourself.  Why are things this way?  Life isn't supposed to be draining and difficult all of the times.  It's like everything though, there are good times and bad.  It's how you maintain your cool and just go with the flow.  My husband is far better than me at doing that.  He really is "Joe cool."  It takes A LOT to ruffle his feathers, but I tend to get worked up a little lot easier.


So I am just sitting down Wednesday night, to finalize my post...all I can say is, I survived this STRESSFUL day without being grumpy, mad, sad, or taking it out on anyone. It wasn't a bad day, but it was "just one of those days."  From 6:00 until 6:00 pm I ran around!  I can't even relive all the odd random weird crazy {are you done yet cosmos?} happenings of today.  I can say that when life gets you stressed, all you can do is laugh it off...


How do you combat stress?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Baby's First Halloween!

Hi friends! Day five is something about Bon Fire Night...and my mind is blank on that one.

 SOooooo, I'll share Brooke Lynn's first Halloween!!

We had so much fun dressing her up.  A part of me wanted to dress her up in a fuzzy cute baby costume, but I just couldn't find one I loved and wanted to spend the money on. I don't like spending money on Halloween costumes, I have never really loved this 'holiday' but I know my hubby does... so I knew we had to do something fun and cute!  I was going to attempt to make her a tu-tu skirt and buy a onesie; she'd be a 49ers cheerleader.  But then my awesome mama friend and Advo teammate Rachel saw this at a Kohl's in California [shocker, how our Kohl's only carries Bills and Giants stuff--boo!] so I thought it was PERFECT!

Also, my friend Lauren makes bows--how perfect is it!?

She loves "Bye bye"

Thank you again Rachael, you're the best!


Where's my candy ma??

Now she can wear it again on Sunday game days!! I'm not sure for how long, as it's sized 18 months, and well, fits my large baby perfectly!


Uncle Ty Ty with his nieces

I loved our matching costumes!

A girl and her glow stick
She was a riot!! She loved going door to door and seeing all the costumes and decorations.  I can't wait to see what it will be like in the years to come.

Thank you, my sweet girl, for allowing me to enjoy the little things like this again.  I haven't been "trick-or-treating in forever! It was so cute to see my niece all dress [even though you won't be allowed to eat all of your candy you will get, but it's for your own good haha!]

How did you spend your Halloween? We even watched a scary movie this past weekend, The Conjuring. Pretty freaky!!

{p.s. these blurry photos are making me realize how badly I need to bust out the "real camera"}

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4: Food

Clearly, if you frequent my lil old blog, you know I love food. I love everything about good food, that is.  I love the connection you make as you're preparing a meal; whether it's baking homemade apple pies with a mother in law, or creating some dish with your lover.  Food brings people together and I just love that.

Think about it; how many fantastic conversations have you had with your friends or family, just because you're sitting around a table?

What makes me sad, is that food gets such a bad rap; and while I am not a "100% clean eater" I do try to eat as many nourishing foods as I can, and limit myself on the not so good ones.  I get it, it can be a tricky downward spiral! I love sweets and truly enjoy baking them...but I just believe everything in moderation.  As for leftovers? I freeze them or give them away!

So onto the recipes, okay, okay...

I have two.  One is this unbelievably {easy} and tasty chicken recipe! My husband actually requested this for Sunday night after hunting [in 30 degree weather!!]

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

2 packages of  organic chicken thighs
1/2 cup of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
--garnish at the end--A few sprigs of chopped fresh rosemary

Combine ingredients into a bowl and stir.  Place chicken in a foil lined pan, as it tends get messy, and pour the mix over the chicken.  Bake for 40 minutes (or until chicken is done)

Add the fresh chopped rosemary for a boost of flavor!

must use fresh Rosemary*

I believe I pinned this recipe awhile back and it's known as "Man Pleasing Chicken"

My husband also requested Stuffed Artichokes, which I have shared awhile back.  You can find that here
The hearts are the best!
My husband LOVED them!!
And some for me.  This easy Fall recipe is soooo tasty.  Well, especially to me since I'm on day 4 of my cleanse!!

Cubed butternut squash
4 sliced carrots
1 whole onion sliced
Dried cranberries

Foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle evoo on the veggies & a little coarse sea salt. OMG.
What kind of food are you eating or cooking up these chilly days?

Sunday, November 3, 2013


How cool is this picture? It was from our engagement photos in the spring of 2010.  I don't know why we never printed this!! Our photographer was amazing.


The topic for day three is "Light" in honor of the beginning of Diwali or the Hindu festival of lights.  I didn't know much about it, so I looked up over here...basically the whole notion of goodness of light, triumphing over darkness or evil.  I don't get much into religion on my blog, but I am spiritual.  I respect all types of religions and those who are devoted in their practice.  I definitely find it interesting to see how other cultures celebrate.

I love everything about this topic.  First thoughts that pop into my head is actual light, such as the sun, its warmth, the feeling of happiness as it shines on my face.  I also love the flickering glow of a candle or the sparks from a flame in a glowing fireplace.  There is something so tranquil about looking at fire, or lighting a candle.

 It just represents coziness and a homey feeling to me.  I couldn't have been happier when I met Joe and saw he had a fireplace in the living room!! It certainly makes for us being a tad on the hermit side on the cold, long wintery nights, but I really do love it.

What about inner light?  Do you allow yourself to truly shine through? Or perhaps you believe in a higher power...

I am always working on my patience and my ability to appreciate the now.  For some reason, even a candle light makes me want to slow down and just embrace the moment.  I took this photo a few years ago, 2009 to be exact.  I was in a bit of an argument with Joe and had to stop myself on a walk.  I realized that I had to start being a better girlfriend and change a few things about myself...a few weeks later, he proposed.  I would look at this photo daily to remind me how lucky I am, and to stop focusing on negatives. I still have the photo...
our street
Life is so hectic, busy, crazy, on demand, and our society is all "we want it now!" I am guilty of falling into this rat race, and really do make conscious efforts to push pause on all else, and devote time to myself, my daughter and my husband.  Joe & Brooke are the light of my lives and I know I would be nowhere near as complete and whole, without them.  And because of that, they come first above anything else going on in my life.   When something is so precious to you, don't you do all that you can to preserve it? Make sure that you're doing everything in your power to make sure they're happy, fulfilled and loved.  In order to take care of them, of course I have to take care of myself too.

my view as I type this--yes, hubby is playing Madden!

So I hope that on this Sunday, you too are able to sit back and enjoy a few moments...focus on the positive in your life and what is making you happy.  Perhaps you can light a candle and simply take a few deep breaths and realize how grateful you truly are.

{I so badly want to end this, "N'amaste!!}

But seriously, I do hope your lives are full of happy light~enjoy your day friends!

Something I Made

Day 2 #BEDN is something you made.

I know I usually share a lot of yummy and indulging recipes, but since I'm on my cleanse, and I always have a lot of people ask, well what do you eat while cleansing?? I figured I'd share a few simple items. It is NOT about starving yourself and you do have to eat.  People worry that with a cleanse, they'll be hungry or that they'll be on a liquid diet.  Not with this cleanse! It's all about clean eating.  As for what I made? I will tell you, I make a big mess in the kitchen  As soon as it's clean and sparkling? I mess it up.  Here's why!

I made my fiber drink--side note OMG it's so tasty! I know the citrus scrubs you out more, but the peach is so good!!

Standard egg w/ avocado and tomato. I know I shared it before, but we just love this breakfast, and the only reason we won't have it is because we are out of avocado or they're not ready yet!!

I made a snack:
Apple & cashews.

I made a simple salad
1/2 can of dark red beans
1/2 can of organic chicken
tomatoes, avocado
Dressing was just a little evoo & lemon juice

I also prepared some other snacks, like hard boiled eggs.

Cover eggs with water
Bring to a boil.
Boil 10 minutes.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Run cold water over them.

I have to blog this, because yes even though I am 32 I still have to text my mom how to boil eggs!

And I boiled some sweet potatoes to whip up; great for baby & for us!!  We had salmon burgers for dinner--no pic sorry. They were okay. Not my first choice!

I also cannot wait until after my cleanse, as I am trying to avoid dairy these first 10 days. I made this little concoction and oh my goodness, it seriously will satisfy your sweet tooth!!

1 serving of chocolate muscle gain
8 oz almond milk
1 tsp of organic almond butter

What are you making in these days??

Friday, November 1, 2013


Happy November!! As the husband and I were driving home from trick-or-treating last night, I said to him, how happy I was that we had an awesome October, but I am ready to bring on November.  With that said, here I am, starting the month off RIGHT by doing a few things.

One, being that I decided I wanted to sign up and commit to blogging every day in November. #BEDN I love blogging, and I think that if I schedule times and things I really enjoy doing, it forces me to get the stuff that I have to get done, and creates a better balance of feeling whole and happy.  I enjoy writing about all aspects of life, from my daughter, my husband, cooking, health, fashion...and I always want to be a DIYer but, most of them are flops, there's no finished product and I don't share them on the blog...

With #BEDN, there is a calender of topics we can choose from, and if I feel like writing about something else? That's cool too! The point is to follow through and blog every single day no matter what!

So, hello any new readers! I am Jenn. I was an English teacher for 8 years, then decided to become a housewife, which quickly turned into a stay at home mom.  My baby girl is almost 10 months old, and she is seriously the highlight of our lives! We just have so much fun with her!  I've been married to my husband for 3.5 years and are coming up on our 6 years of being together in January.  It's so crazy how time flies! Things aren't always perfect, sunshine and roses, but I always try to focus on the good.  Life is a gift and we really try to cherish it.

While I love staying home with Brooke, I love that I can help people with AdvoCare. It doesn't hurt to contribute to our monthly income either! Good health is so important, and more than anything I want everyone to feel as great as I do, with these products.  I started my 24 day challenge today, so I am excited about that!  The first 10 days are my "cleanse" phase, where you avoid all fatty, processed, fried foods, along with dairy, alcohol, and I choose to give up coffee, because with that coffee always comes creamer...So I am enjoying my Spark.  

I already am very impressed with myself, because I would have had several pieces of candy, some hash-browns, and said creamer...with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, I really needed {reminder} that I don't NEED all these cookies and junk. I stress 90/10 [90% clean eating, 10% not] and I know I am not always super aware of how much I am eating, so this 24 day challenge puts me back in my place!  I really want to be happy with how I look in holiday photos, so that is my main purpose to tighten up my eaten habits, workout more and be healthy. If you're wanting to get back on track with your eating, let me know!!

So will you join in and BEDN? Let me know so I can read your blog! Have a fabulous Friday friends.

[sneak peek of our little one's Halloween!]