Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fall Bucket List/October Goals

I am ready to say goodbye to September and bring on all things pumpkin and spooky related!! My husband's birthday is Friday October 9th, and although he's working a darn sale all day, I am excited about birthdays in general.  I know Brooke will get a kick out of it too, since she loves balloons and well, what's a birthday without balloons?  I dunno why, but that is my motto.

My "Fall" Bucket list:

  • Family photos with leaves changing.  This is NON negotiable Jennifer Lynn! Seriously, my adorable family needs some family photos. I think we are gonna bust out the tripod and have to do this. I have a few areas in mind that I want to shoot too.  I am going to try my best to get some of the kids too…because time is a flying people!
  • Cozy movie night with candles and a fire.  We just need a good movie…suggestions?!
  • A haunted hay ride
  • Farmer's market Thursdays
  • My goal is 5 pumpkin patches this month with the kiddos!
  • Puppy Pancake breakfast 10/9…Brooke is going to lose her mind!
  • Find halloween costumes for all of us.  We are actually going to an adult Halloween Party and I hate to say it, but I don't love dressing up?! I know. I know. I do love dressing up, but I hate spending money on costumes. Creative ideas, and go?!
  • Bake apple pies
  • Get to the museum of play
  • Read books about Fall and spend as much time as we can outside!
  • My personal goals are to continue to work on myself.  I am getting out of the house by myself at least once a week.  It's amazing what a trip to the library in my ride listening to adult music will do for ya!  I always say I will be right back and I take longer because it's so quiet and nice in a library…I need to go there more often.
  • Get dressed in real clothes. I have lived in yoga pants and shorts all summer. I don't like it. I want to feel pretty and girlie and cute.  So what if the kids get my clothes messy? No more excuses!
  •  I also will continue to grow my Advo biz and help other others with health and finances.  I just love being able to do that!  
  • I am also putting myself on another spending freeze.  We are about to go spend a lot of money on some land that we will be able to build a dream house on.   It's beyond exciting and so I am going to be pinching pennies for awhile.  Little things like Brooke's winter coat still fitting from last year are very exciting!!  
  • I also am trying to sell some of our baby stuff as we won't need it any longer.  I just want to have a big old yard sale next summer.  All kids clothes $2 a piece!  Cha-ching. 
  • Physically I will continue to workout and I will make it to Yoga once a week. I just have to make it happen.  I know it will be so good for me, I just need to do it.  
  • Lastly, I will finish a book. I start books but don't always finish them.  Sometimes that is okay, but I just got Girl on the Train and so I am hoping I finish that one.  

What are your Fall must dos??

Bradley says one pumpkin is not enough!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ending September with a case of the Sickies!

Hey there, is this thing on?!  Wowie it has been a little hectic around these parts.  Babes have come down with their first cold of the season, and first one ever for bubs.  Nothing major, but enough for mama to stress over.  Plus, I think I have it too, I'm just fighting it off like a boss.  Or trying to, but the constant wakes in the middle of the night are taking a toll on me, so I need to get back into things.  I realized that I have now been blogging for 4 years.  I started this little old site back in 2011, when life was like…super…super….simple.  Of course my old self thought I was really busy and had tons going on, but reality?  It was me. Joe. 2 dogs. And I was a housewife.  What the heck?!  I think about that time often and and so grateful we were able to have it.  As much as I longed to be a mommy, I am so thankful we had some precious time just us two.

{first post evaaaaaa:  here}

I must say, I've done a lot of growing up.   A lot because, well, mostly it's just me.  And Joe.  He's always with me, but usually at work.  But any time I need him, I know he's got my back.  I have a few good friends I can rely on, and of course there are parents.  

But I think you get to a point in life where you realize that no one is really ever going to be what you want them to be.  I could sit and whine, cry, and write about how I really feel about things, or I can just pick myself up and realize that this is my life and all I can do is focus on the good.  It could always be worse.

That said, here's some lightheartedness to share off my mind…

Meet my new bff.  Orange OTG.  OMG. Haha it's really so good! I like all the flavors, but my fave is the orange and it's out of stock. SAD FACE.  I never like the G stuff with tons of sugar you can buy at any old store, but this stuff?? Heaven in a to go container.  Love love love.

Fall at the Farmer's market.  We were able to buy this with ONE $20 bill y'all.  Yes, purple cauliflower! It didn't taste any different than the reg, but man wouldn't that make a puurdy little smashed cauli recipe? I just roasted mine in the oven, but it was good!  And on top of being sick, Brooke had this habit of scratching her nose with her finger as she sucked her thumb.  Finally I got smart and stock socks on her hands like I did when she was a baby.  I think it has improved since this photo…

Friday the new iPhones arrived at our house!! I was ridiculously excited and probably wayyyyy too into the fact that I was getting a new phone. .  . only to find out somehow instead of rose gold, a gold was ordered and so that is what showed up at my house.  Hubby had his brand new silver/grey and I was all like….wahhhhhh.  I couldn't figure out if I was more upset about not getting my phone, or if I was more mad at myself for being that upset.  Either way, I now have to wait until NOVEMBER for my phone to ship.  The #strugglewasreal and I could have just kept the gold, but I reeeeeeeeally like the pink (rose gold) so patience is a virtue or something like that.  I just keep telling myself it's just a stupid phone….but no really, I almost cried. I'm awful!

This little peanut was the worst on Saturday.  I have never seen him so sick.  He just wanted to sleep and cuddle.

Sunday we had a lovely Fall day, but still had the sickies, so we spent some time outside while Joe grilled dinner.

He was still pretty clingy Sunday, but he seemed a bit better.

Monday was a long, long day and Brooke was really feeling awful.  We did a lot of TV time and snuggles.  She seems much better today (Tuesday) but I'm still trying to keep her low key.

Both kids are down napping, right now…Bradley just coughed and woke himself up so I hope he goes back to sleep.  I just wanted to write a little bit, so I can look back and see how we ended the month of September back in 2015…

I've been putting myself on the back burner (again) because that is what we do as mommies.  But I need to do something to make myself feel good, so I am going to get a quick workout in.
A nice hot shower.
Put some real clothes on and some makeup!
I still feel congested and post nasal is driving me crazy, but I think if I sweat some toxins out, it may help?!
We have a fun October ahead, so I hope we all get healthy and well soon.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Currently Cooking [cleansing]

Happy Monday!

I'm sitting down to eat my lunch: (leftover chicken, rice, greens and a little salsa) and so I wanted to share what else I've been cooking up! We had a nice little weekend; a much needed day of rest yesterday after a whirlwind of <crap> that happened last week.  We played with the kids, had a nice fire, and just watched football.  I'm really taking a good look at a lot of things in life, and one of them is our food. Boy, do I know how much work it takes to cook meals for 4 people all day long, but it's so worth it to hear my husband say how great his body feels this morning.  I feel awesome too, which I knew I would because Advo is the best.

So with the chilly temps upon us, I am truly getting into better shape, mentally, emotionally and physically.

So yesterday I was in the mood for some "comfort food."  I had a spaghetti squash, so I made some homemade sauce.  I just EVOO, onions, garlic powder, crushed tomatoes for the sauce and let it simmer.   I baked the squash at 400 for 35 minutes.  And I basically used this recipe for the meatballs [here].   Now of course my Italian hubby ate regular penne pasta, but he actually did enjoy the meatballs!

Earlier in the day I threw a whole chicken in, some onion & garlic on the bottom, herbs on top.  Slow cooked that bird til she fell apart!

Other news-I really try to buy organic chicken, but I had a coupon and lately I've been eating my weight in poultry, so I grabbed these in case of emergencies.  WINNING.  You can add any flavor you want, microwave, warm up in skillet, whatever.  I like that I have them on hand in case I get hangry and have nothing else.

I lived off of hummus chicken last week.  Totally honest: I didn't mind it. I used garlic hummus, but it still could have used more seasonings.  I ate it all week, but I'm not that picky…Joe didn't like it and neither did Brooke.  Noted.

My breakfast is pretty standard. Some days I throw in spinach, others I just do 2 eggs, scrambled or over easy. A little avo. 1 piece of ezekial bread.

I also had turkey chili a lot last week.  Brooke liked it, which shocked me because it was a little spicy.  Joe can't eat it because of all the beans.  I just dump in tomatoes, canned and fresh, whatever I have.  Spices. Beans. Ground turkey.

So while the babes are still napping, I'm off to menu plan for this week! I'm craving soups because it's chilly! I'm a few days out from the Max phase, which I'll ease up my eating a little bit….like I've been #onfleek haha ok, on point with my eating no joke.  I haven't even used honey…so I am going to make some overnight oats and energy bites.

Any recipes out there that are fairly clean you wanna share?? I love new recipes.  Have a great day!

Friday, September 18, 2015

5 on Friday!

Even though it feels like Summer, Fall is right around the corner! We had our first official fire of the season Sunday.  Hard to believe with temps in the 80's, but it was really chilly (50's and rain) when we had one!  I am looking to many comfy moments with my little family right here in this very room.

Cozy Fires

Being that my husband does finance for a Chevy store, whenever they take in a too good to pass up deal, is usually when I get a new car.  This time happened to be a 2013 suburban! It really doesn't feel any different driving than my Yukon, but obviously it's a little longer in the trunk.  It's really nice to have a sun roof again; I really missed that! I am also happy that there are captain seats. Usually I was fan of a bench, so that I could go back and tend to the kids, but they're pretty self sufficient at this point and if they need me, I'm driving and I need to pull over anyway.  Plus in my Yukon, we had to put the seats next to each other since there was no clip behind me, so that was already causing issues with "Brudder touching me!" Oh, how I forgot about sibling fights haha.

A new truck!

Pumpkin everything!! I am so happy these are back in stock and it saved me during my cleanse the night I had to pick my truck up.  Everyone else was eating pizza, ((drool)) but I had my handy shake in my purse and enjoyed a healthy and filling shake!


I scored these adorable boots from Marshall's.  They were pretty reasonable (29.99) and I cannot wait to pair them with leggings, skinny jeans, dresses and pixie pants!


My friend Ann randomly sent this to me yesterday.  She didn't realize how much I needed to see it. Sometimes we go through some tough times in life and we just have to really be strong.  It's a daily workout for the mind, but it's so important to focus on the good in life, realize what and who matters most and work very hard at preserving it.  There will be times when you just have to learn to close a door, or just not open it, when negativity comes a knocking. 

Be positive and strong. 

That is all! Have a wonderful day and enjoy each moment of this precious thing called life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

That time I inspired myself...

Hey hey hey!!

It's Wednesday.  Sun is shining. Temps are in the high 70's/low 80's.  I can't believe Fall is here with this summer like weather! Not complaining.  And I'm definitely torn between wanting to bust out the boots, but still happy to wear shorts. Holla!!

I must say, blogging is so amazing, for so many reasons.  I can sometimes even go back and read old posts and encourage myself!! Sometimes life can get a little tough and I know I personally can get a little tunnel vision.  As soon as I start to feel "off" I try to work on myself, and usually talking to Joe is really what is helpful. I hadn't been listening or reading anything "good" for my mind.  I spend time working on my physical appearance, but we MUST work out our minds too!!  I have mentioned it before, but it is VITAL to take care of our minds.  If we are not emotionally happy, or not feeling fulfilled, we can change that!

A few years ago I turned to Advocare for the first reason of being overweight. I had 20 pounds of post baby weight that would not budge. I felt sad, discouraged and just not happy. At one point the Dr mentioned it may be postpartum depression.

Well, to be honest, I kind of wondered if it were happening again, only this time with Bradley.  However, it isn't because I was carrying a lot of extra weight; really I am in "ok" shape.  I really missed that social connection, helping other people, and really feeling like I'm making a difference in the world.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE staying home. There is no one else I can even dream of watching my babies grow day to day, but I wanted to do more.  Somehow I let that slip away, and now I am really focusing on that.

Leaders Eat Last

Listen to that you tube audio book. I've been jotting down notes while eating lunch and making a few calls.  In one sense, it spoke to me--no matter how much technology is changing, we STILL need face to face interaction. Without being social, and no social media does not count, we will not thrive.  We need to hear others' voices and be part of groups. We are human beings and have been doing that for centuries.

So with that, I am writing this to say, Mamas, if you feel stuck or just like you need something more, maybe you do!! Perhaps getting into a business, like Advocare would be right for you.  It's not for everybody, but I do know I am a better person when I work on myself, so that I can grow. I want to be the best mother, wife, daughter, friend, person that I can be…never perfect, but just better.

All I know is that we are all on our own journeys, but together we help one another grow. It's not just about selling vitamins and shakes [even though they are the bomb], and the reality is, when you feel healthy all over, life is so much better.

I wrote this post about a year ago [[HERE]] ---and sometimes we all need to be reminded of how to be healthy and inspire each other.  PS. they are on sale again, so ya better stock up if you like anything Pumpkin Spice!

As for right now, I am on day three of my 24 day challenge and I haven't missed a beat with my eating and I'm so proud of myself to have been very strict this time around. I am bound and determined to feel good and fit into my new pants that currently do not button!!! Lessss do thisssss!!! 

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A first, Kids' Fall Haul [vlog], and a Carseat question

Our BIG boy sitting up in a cart. I've been putting it off because, well, having Brooke not in the cart scares the daylights out of me.  I'm paranoid someone will try to take her, or that she'll destroy the store.  Either way, we finally bit the bullet and successfully shopped at, none other, Wally world!

She found this toddler minnie bed that she may have fit into when she was like one, but she's so big poor thing needed a real bed!

This one kills me.  "But I LOBBB it mommy."  Which was of course, everything in the store!! And she insisted on saying, "take my picture, cheeeeeese!"

Look at all these finds!  I am not ready to whip out the pumpkins and decorate, but I know it's the time to grab anything we may like!

Totally random but we need more carseats for bubs. I need to do some research, but anyone know about the Graco line? We had the infant carrier, worked well for both kiddos.  But I wasn't sure about these.  I like the basic black.

But the houndstooth detail is fun too.

I should have put the phone the other way, sorry, but at least you may get a glimpse of something you may like for your kiddos.  Cute stuff at decent prices.

Friday, September 4, 2015

5 on Friday

Happy Friday!! I am loving this weather and loving even more than my husband has Monday off!  He has to work Saturday, but that's ok.  We have a kid free night and will be going out to dinner with a bunch of fun people!  I'm looking forward to some family time this long weekend and lots of sun. As for the blog, I am really trying to make an effort here because I just love writing and posting my thoughts.  I really enjoy going back and reading them too!  It's been awhile, so I thought I'd share some favorites on this gorgeous Friday.

If there is one book I'd recommend it's this one.  I waited for it FOREVER at the library and it came in when we were on vacation.  BOO.  So I just bit the bullet and bought it, and boy am I glad I did! It's very intense, like I can't just part with ALL of my stuff, though I should try a little harder…but she has some very valid points and I can say that I LOVE looking at my fridge now that it is not completely covered in clutter!  I am definitely going to implement more from this, but I truly believe in what she says about energy and our belongings.  If you don't 100% love something,  I know it's hard when there are multiple people living in the house, but it feels so good to have less stuff.

order here--[book]

Nope. Not ready to let go of Summer and my easy go to outfit of comfy cut off shorts, a white tee and a kimono.  I am gonna rock this as long as I can…aka until the snow starts to fly?!
Kimono- Gift from TJ Maxx {Similar/fall styles here}
Tee- Express
Shorts- Express


I am a sun goddess. I love the sunshine. The warmth. The golden color that shines on my skin.  I don't love the C word and am terrified of getting too much sun, and I hate to admit it, but some of my "freckles" now appear to be dark spots. Frown.  So, instead of sitting in the sun, I decided I am going to try more sunless tanners. I don't love the smell of most of them and I am kind of a baby and don't want to pay all that money and look orange at a salon.  Megan reached out to me and had me convinced to try some of this.  HOLY COW!  Total game changer.  It has a slight scent, but nothing too potent. I exfoliated, shaved, applied 2 pumps per area/calves, thighs, arms, chest/tummy…and am SOLD. I only wish I had tried it sooner!! My husband even commented how tan I looked and he loved it! I believe a nice tan does help show off your body and just gives you that 'healthy glow.'

I need to work on applying it to my feet--haha oops! (I'm still getting used to it.)  But look at that color on my legs!! #sold

[order here]


My kids.  I am not going to lie, this is the first Fall I kind of missed going back to school--teaching. I dunno why. I haven't taught since 2011.  I think part of it is social media, seeing everyone get all dressed up in new clothes and get ready to go back…but then I stopped and really reflected what would cause that?  What is the root?  I started focusing on all the wonderful aspects that I can be a part of, not having to rush out of the door at 6:30.  [such as make a leisure breakfast, sip out of a ceramic mug, and not have to rush any where if I don't want to…and most importantly, be with my babes.] I know they won't be this little forever and so I'm embracing my normal and snapped this shot before we went to the library/park.

And although I'm not ready for the Fall, ok I am ready for Fall, not Winter! But I am excited for what lies ahead! I have purchased my 24 day challenge and am going to compete in a transformation contest! I need the accountability and encouragement.  It's not about the number on the scale, but I am definitely not as healthy as I want to be, and I definitely need to check myself!  Summer BBQs, wine time, and well just easy breezy on the go living has made for some not so great habits.  
-Free Coaching
-Meal plans
-Shopping lists
-online support

Besides, it's $1000 contest---you could win Cash and Advo goodies.  Woo! If you'd like to join in on the fun with me, I'd love to challenge with you!

That's all for now lovelies!! 

Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Color Week {Tot School}

I feel like my house has been Grand Central Station over here!! We've had our chimney fixed, AC repaired (furnace died) Cable updated, carpets measured, carpets torn out, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something.  Every day it's been busy, but I've tried my best to keep things moving over here with "Toddler School."  My printer is not working and I don't have any laminating sheets for my new laminator, sooooo we just rolled with the punches.  My main goal was to keep the TV off because that dang thing is so easy to turn on!

For color week I just went around and pulled anything that was colorful.  She loves playing with the pom poms.  She puts them in a cup, adds a pipe cleaner as a "straw" and drinks.

We tried color sorting/matching, but she wasn't that impressed.

She loves the clings, though I won't let her really mess these up.  She has apples up front that she enjoys ripping, errr, playing with.

We snack and I try to read books about colors.

Pink Tray-gathered as many toys as we could that were pink!

At the playground, she was singing a made up song about all the colors on the slide, so that was kind of cool!

We discovered "Color Crew" on Netflix.

This was BY FAR the best activity.  A few ice cubes.  A bit of water with a couple drops of food coloring.

A ladle. Two buckets. WINNING!

Baby boy really liked it too, until he got a little cold from the water.

And we added yellow to it after nap time, which obviously made green.

We sorted the colored blocks and built towers.

We moved into mom and dad's room where the fan was since the AC was not working.

I pulled out a box of toys in the basement and we went through these colors!

We did a little baking today with some apples that were on their way out.  Simple, tasty and she loves making a mess in the kitchen!

That box of toys kept her occupied for a bit!

So while I don't feel like I "taught" her much, I know she is learning and most importantly having fun.  The key to us having great days is to stay busy, active, and move around the house!  It's a little tricky with the baby who spits up a little bit; I have to make sure we have blankets wherever we go..but he has gotten much better with that!  He's army crawling, she's almost potty trained and overall I would give ourselves an A for the week!!  Fridays are always nice because Daddy's around, (mommy gets her nails done) and Saturday they head to Nana and Papa's for a sleepover!  Long weekend ahead and we are pumped.

Did you get on board with the tot schooling?  I am looking forward to shapes next week!