Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

I did it! I successfully blogged every day in October.  That feels really good! Today I'm sharing our kids' costumes.  Joe and I did not attend any parties or dress up, but we will enjoy taking the kiddos out and about tonight. I can officially say that we have DONE Halloween all month long.  

Pumpkin patches.
Pumpkin everything!!

Thanks to a snap chat filter I can "appear" dressed up.

I love this shirt with some Stella!

Remember to treat yo self!

Have a Happy and safe Halloween! 

Bring on the Turkey!!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Top 10 Health Tips

I am by no means an expert, but I thought I'd share a few important health reminders.  As I've mentioned before, we really put a huge emphasis on our health because of Joe's Crohn's and we value our bodies so much!! We only get on body, so we should treat it like gold.  That said, I know that it's impossible to be perfect 100% and I'm totally guilty of enjoying a glass of vino every now and then.  Heck, I even give my kids McDonald's every once in awhile.

However, it's 90% of the time where we try our best to do the following.

1.  Sleep
I find that I work best on 7-8 hours.  It's not always easy, but man when I don't get my sleep--I feel awful, I act terrible and I just can't think straight.  Getting enough sleep would be my BIGGEST suggestion if you're irritable.  Mama I know it's tough when the babes are small and not sleeping through the night; it's insane.  DO NOT load up on coffee and other caffeine drinks. Simply try to get more sleep.  Get a sitter. Have your husband get up.  I wish I had taken my sleep a little more seriously with my second kid.  I definitely feel like I got a little nutty with no sleep.  Now we are BLESSED to have to babes sleep through the night.  It was a lot of tough love and work, but we never co-slept or even had the babies in our room. Personal preference, but man I am so thankful we did that today.  Our kids sleep 12 hours a night now, most nights.

2.  Drink Water 
I mean only water.  I learned that you should drink half of your body weight in water daily, and I swear it helps me stay alert, my skin is clearer and I don't eat too much junk.  Play around with the water to see what you prefer; I like mine ICE cold and Joe likes his water room temperature.  I'll add grapefruit essential oil to give it a new flavor.  Lemon or strawberries can be added to give it a different taste too.  I also have found how amazing products like Yeti or Corkcicle can keep your drinks super cold all day and all night.

3.  Move
I hate to say you have to exercise, but we really should try to sweat for 10-20 minutes (if not more) daily.  Get outside, get some fresh air, walk the dog. Chase your kids. Jump rope. Go on you tube and workout for free.  Find something that you enjoy and do it. A lot.  If you just make it a habit to do 10 minutes a day, I bet you'll surprise yourself and end up moving even more.  It's so good to keep our bodies stretching, moving and sweating.

4.  80/20
I personally feel my best when I don't eat packaged or processed junk. I know it's easy and convenient, but it's not worth the price of feeling like garbage.  I think our plates should be mostly veggies/greens, fruits--basically anything that has been grown! Also focus on lean proteins like organic chicken, pork, and lots of fish. I know it's so tempting to eat pizza, burgers and fries all the time but it's just not good for us.  The more veggies and fruits you eat, and reduce the starchy carbs, you'll be amazed at the energy and awesome feel good vibes you will have!

5.  Limit Sugar 
It's a tricky one, that sugar! It sneaks into everything we eat and drink, even if we are trying to be aware.  Watch those expensive Starbucks drinks; I am guilty as charged.  Just had to reign in my bad habit with over 40 grams a pop for most of them, it's not good for our guts OR bank accounts. Just sayin.  Sugar is so addicting and really does a number on us.  I try very hard to limit sugar going into my kids' mouths and will definitely be donating or throwing away most of their candy after Halloween.  2 & 4 they don't need all that junk! Enjoy the holiday, but don't overdue it. That's my motto.

6.  Don't stress
Stress kills.  Slow down and breathe.  Take some time for yourself; if I'm getting worked up, I try to stop and ask myself, will this matter in 5 minutes? 5 days? 5 months? 5 years? Most likely, no.  Chill out and stop stressing.  Find some good habits like taking a walk, a bubble bath or reading a book to take your mind off of whatever is bugging you.  Essential oils helped me a lot; I breathe them in, do some yoga and move on. #namaste

7.  Personal Development {PD}
Kind of becoming a trendy thing, and I'm super excited about this! I think EVERYONE should listen or read something motivational every single day.  Just like our bodies, we have got to take care of our minds.  What we think about, becomes.  What we believe, we can achieve. If you can learn to train yourself to "not go there" down the path of worry, stress, anger, madness...and focus on positivity, gratitude, and becoming better than yesterday, life gets so much better. I'm not perfect. I still get upset, yell, become frustrated, but I know each day I work at it to become a better version of myself. (see these posts for more)

8.  Laugh
I do believe laughter is the best medicine. Once I learned to stop taking life so seriously, I've become a happier person. Watch more comedies. Hangout with people who are funny.  Enjoy being silly and goofy with your kids. Lighten up. Life is too short to get all twisted over a bunch of garbage; so just laugh it off. I am so thankful my husband taught me this 9 years ago.  I was so uptight and worried about so much, it's a wonder I enjoyed much of anything!  Pull up some funny memes, go to you tube, whatever makes you crack a smile, go do it on the daily.

9.  Vitamins/supplements
Obviously work with a Dr. or healthcare professional.  I strongly believe in taking some supplements to stay healthy.  I think vitamin D is super important up here in NY because we never see the sun from October until pretty much May it seems.  I know that omegas help immensely with a lot.  A solid multi-vitamin is also key to staying healthy.  Probiotics have got to be my #1 recommendation if nothing else.  Good gut bacteria is essential and with all of the "food" we eat, it's not always helping our guts.  Find a good probiotic or two and add them into your diet. Kombucha is also really good, along with Kefir.  Even yogurt in moderation is awesome.

10.  Green Tea {matcha}
Since my reflux, I just can't do anything that has a lot of caffeine.  I've always enjoyed green tea, so I usually have a cup of that.  I have however, found a new love: Matcha.  I've talked a lot about it lately, but I can't stop raving about it.  It gives me a slow released energy all day. No high. No crash. It's just a subtle calming energy.  Google it; there are TONS of benefits!  Sure I love one from Starbucks but it is loaded with sugar and it's $$.  Here is my homemade recipe; I ordered the matcha powder from Amazon. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tutorial: How to Remove Scentsy Quickly and Easily

Day 29---SO CLOSE to being done with my blogtober!  Things are caarrraaazy around here but I couldn't skip a day!

I had no clue what to do a tutorial of, and yesterday one of my friends was wondering how to remove her scensty wax...I figured I'd share my fool proof way of not making a mess.

Maybe it will help someone else too.

PS my fabulous friend Amie just started up her scentsy biz. Love this cozy chai---seriously smells SO amazing.  Grab your scentsy here!

Happy Halloween Weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fashion Friday {and a giveaway!}

So to be quite honest, I didn't dress up much lately.  I shared my weekend look on Monday, so I don't want to repeat that.  The last few days Brooke has been home sick and well, there wasn't any reason for me to leave the house.

Thursday was her Halloween parade though and since she felt much better, we were able to attend!  I wore my LuLaroe leggings in this adorable halloween print.  I busted out one of my favorite sweatshirt fleeces from Old Navy.

I finally got the last piece of my holiday samples---The Gala Statement Necklace.  She is stunning!

It's that time of year when we can dress up and be anything we want to!! Have some fun. Wear the ghosts, add the glitter, heck throw on the feathers!  Be creative with your everyday wardrobe. It will make you smile all day long.

Sweater weather is HERE!! Add a little neck candy with our new chokers.

Layers, upon layers, upon layers.  Love this laid back look with the jacket, but added glam of some jewels!

Here is an incredible chic and yet casual look for any occasion!  Silver statements. Black booties. Pave studs. A killer tote.  Game on! You'd rock any room.

For a little fun, I'll be doing some giveaways in my VIP group via Facebook! Click here to join in on the fun!! Styled by Jenn VIP group .  My first challenge for you is to add (yourself) friends to my group.  I'll be giving away one of my prizes!

Happy Friday!!

Stay stylish friends.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

In Ten Years

Well, today's a big one.  Where do I hope to be in 10 years?  I guess I'll start with our ages.

I'll be 45.
Joe will be 49.
Brooke will be 13.
Bradley will be 11.

Holy moly!!

I can see us living on our land in our beautiful home. We will have been there about 7/8 years, if all goes correctly.  We'll have gardens that are flourishing by that time; a pool, chickens and a big barn.

Joe seems to think the kids will have go-carts and mini bikes, because that's what kids enjoy.  I never had any, but I do like the idea of them being able to drive around the yard/woods before having to jump behind a wheel on the actual road.

We'll have a big Golden Doodle and he will be so amazing.  Holly would be 16, so it's quite possible she's still with us! Those little dogs have amazing life spans.

I see Joe retired from the car biz and working for himself.  I can see us possible working together; I just know that I will be in my home when those kids get off the bus.  They'll probably be into sports or some after school activities, and I'll need to be there to drive them and supervise.  I also want to have nightly family dinners and still be cooking up a storm in our gorgeous kitchen.

If I don't work for "us" then I'll certainly be doing something, as clearly I enjoy earning income for my family and doing something that I am passionate about.

I think I'll be in amazing shape because I'll have the time to get into a yoga studio, barre classes, or whatever the craze is in 10 years.

I'll be reading even more books, as I'll have a little more time to myself than I do now! ha

Joe will have put his Crohn's into remission.  He is pain free and healthy as can be.

We will have traveled and taken many vacations in the last 10 years.  Some with the kids, some without.

We have 15 rental properties.

Everyone is getting along and talking to one another {aka no family drama!!}

We have purchased a lake house and enjoy spending time there in the summer.

I have become a published author and written two books.

We have an amazing holiday party every year that everyone looks forward to dressing up and coming to.  (This has always been a dream of mine!)

We are officially millionaires.

I will take Brooke on a mom/daughter getaway. Just us girls! I know that the teenage years will be tricky, but I will work hard on our relationship.

I spend some time volunteering at a women's shelter, helping others get back on their feet.

In the last ten years, look how fast the internet has changed the way we live. I am nervous but excited to see where the next ten years will take us.  Clearly I have a big to-do list ahead of me, but I am willing to hustle and grind today so that we can live comfortably later in life.

Dream Big my friends; it's the only way to live!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Letter to my Younger Self...

As I thought about writing this post, the "younger self" that really came to mind was when I was 26. It was right before I met Joe and I owned my own house, worked full time as an English teacher and was going to school to finish my Master's Degree.  I had a pretty crappy love life and was quite involved with school. I had a few really close friends, but I was definitely a little lost and missing something (or someone ;) It's kind of funny because I remember as the new year approached in 2008, I was telling myself I had no time for boys and to focus on my teaching and grad classes. That's really funny, looking back now, as January 2008, I met my now husband.

Dear Jenn,

You have got to give yourself some major slack.  You are far too hard on yourself; no reason to stress and worry so much.  You tend to make mountains out of mole hills and there's really no need for that. You'll learn to let go and let live eventually, but if you could do it sooner than later, I bet it'll save you a lot of heartache...

Speaking of, all those guys you tried dating and it didn't work out?  There's a huge reason for that. They weren't right for you.  You should spend more time alone. Go outside. Read more books for fun. Keep doing all that you are doing for school; you are a great teacher and those kids need you.

Eat better. Lean cuisines and diet mountain dew are not healthy.  Skip processed foods and eat real living fruits and veggies.  You'll probably ward off lots of germs. PS probiotics are really good for you!

Enjoy your time with Sadie lady; she was brought into your life for a reason and you'll miss her crazy ways one day.  Snuggle in bed with her as long as you can; pretty soon you'll meet someone and won't need the dog in the bed too.

Spend more time with your youngest sister; she is troubled, but maybe more time with her would help.

Maybe take some time and see a counselor a few more times about your sister and also for your parents' divorce.  Try and see both sides and view it from an outside perspective.  It'll get really ugly and being the daughter is never easy with a messy divorce.  Find some more support here; you'll need it.

Spend more time with your grandma & grandpa.

Take more trips.

Don't go back to any of your exes. They're your exes for a reason.

Your laundry and housework is a joke; wait until you have two kids, a husband and a 2000 square foot house.  A little dog fur and a few dishes is really nothing...

Learn to do things asap and not procrastinate.

Start wearing eye liner; it makes a huge difference!

Keep up the brunch tradition with your friends as long as you can. You'll miss it.

You should try to find a few families to babysit for on the weekends or weeknights. You could make some major bank!

Don't worry about what people say or think of you. It really doesn't matter.

Bagels for breakfast are not healthy.

Spend more time with your mom.

Go out to eat alone. Go to the movies alone. Do things independently.

Start listening to self improvement books, or reading them. It will change you.

On the other hand?

Don't do anything I mentioned, because everything you're doing will bring you right to where you need to be...

You, my dear, are living one hell of an amazingly awesome life.


Your 35 year old kick ass self.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Transformation Tuesday

I really didn't know what to share for this one, but this old gem came up on my timehop yesterday.  7 years ago on 10/23 my boyfriend got down on one knee and asked me to spend forever with him.

What a flood of emotions as I think about all of our moments these past 7 years for being engaged/married.

We have two beautiful and healthy (okay, Brooke has a bug right now, but overall she's so healthy!)

I've really come into my own, finding a healthy balance of being a mommy, wife, and fulfilling my own personal needs.  I am so much healthier now than I was 7 years ago.  Emotionally, mentally, physically stronger too.  I think becoming a mother does that, but I know most of it is my own hard work ethic day in and day out.

I've learned that time does go by so fast and the snuggles and cuddles don't last forever.  Although they are still very much needed!  Long sleepless nights may be far and few between, but the love and bond created between mother and child is so strong.

Vacations and getaways look a little different from time to time.

Overalls and camo...getting ready for that country livin'!

I love that we can get all dressed up and have a fancy dinner and a night out on the town.  I also love that we can hitch up a small trailer and ride behind a tractor.

In seven years, as much that has changed, one thing remains true.  No matter where we are, or what we do, we have fun and love being together.  

Monday, October 24, 2016

Weekend Highlights

It was super rainy
We needed the rain, and it was a good day to stay inside.
I made Joe breakfast in bed and after that he took Brooke out for a few hours.
They checked on a new house we're closing on, stopped at the mall for lunch,
and I was able to spend time with Bradley.
I even got a good workout it!
I made applesauce, man pleasing chicken thighs w/ basmati rice.
Brooke had dance at 6:15.
After that he played video games and I read/relaxed.
Found this drink I need to make ASAP!

It rained pretty much all day until it was almost time for us to go out.
I made sure to get a workout in.
I tidied up the house; keeping up with the dishes and laundry is no joke.
Kids took decent naps so that was helpful!
I was able to play around a bit with my outfits.
I was dying to wear my Harper necklace.

I switched out the shirt last minute because I feel like black always looks a little more chic.

Babysitter came over around 5:30 and we were out the door at 6:10.
Dinner reservations at a newer sports bar/restaurant Clutch.
My Pumpkin Pie Sangria was really really good!
Dinner was okay. Glorified bar food.

After dinner we went over to a breast cancer awareness fundraiser at Hooligans.
Hubby's work was putting it on and so it was fun to see people from work.
They had raffles etc. We actually won two baskets!
After that we went over to our friend Chris & Jill's house for a few.
We weren't out terribly late.

Pretty darn lazy. 
Jill brought her baby over so she could go to a baby shower, so we played for 3 hours.

After Bradley's nap, we did a little pumpkin painting.

Joe started a fire and I kept it going all day and into the night, as he went hunting.

It was a perfect mix of getting out and doing a little something 
and staying inside and relaxing.

How was your weekend?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pet Peeves

...rude people.

...when people drive and text/play on their phone.


...when people don't listen to what I'm saying and only wait to reply.

...getting less than 7 hours of sleep.

...when the kids's hands are full of mess/food and they run them through their hair.

...stuff all over the kitchen counters.

...bad smells/like laundry that sat too long.

...when someone doesn't follow through on his or her word.

...fake people.

...parents on their phones at dinner, kids on their phones at one is talking--why?!

...whining of any kind.

...dishes in the sink.


...when the DVR cuts off the very last few seconds!

...unsolicited advice.

...laying in bed and hearing the dishwasher beep that it's finished washing.

...when my husband has been slow at work all day and then at 8pm, he has a rush of customers.

...when people don't send Thank You cards.

...lazy people.

...bad drivers.

...when my toenails are not painted.


...not finishing a task/getting distracted

...passive aggressive people.

Clearly I have a lot of people issues I need to get over/work on. ha!

What gets under your skin?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Favorite Space {and place!}

My favorite space is currently our office.  It became the "catch-all" for quite some time and a place I'd just shut to door to, because I was constantly overwhelmed with clutter.  The mail piles up quickly if I let it, as do things that aren't used that often.

Why do I love my office? Well, although it may contradict itself, I also use it as a place to go and meditate, do some yoga, and just have as "my own."  In our family of four, every room is accounted for and this one just has to do double duty for me.

I have our wedding photos sprinkled around, because they make me so happy; it really was the happiest day of my life.  I also have my crystals, tibetan singing bowl, yoga mat and some essential oils at arm's length.

Next to my desk is a vision board. I only have one visual of our dream home, but I wrote out goals/dreams on post-its to look at and remind myself of "big dreams."

I love that there is a window and it probably has one of the most serene views of the house; no other houses can be seen or the school parking lot (until Winter, when the leaves are gone.)

It makes my yoga practice that much better when I can see outside like this!  I also have our aloe plant; I really want to add more plants to our home, but I have a very brown thumb.

My desk is not at all what I want. This hunk of junk, (no offense hubby!) is Joe's and has been here since before me and I don't even know how long?! It holds a printer (which I use) a monitor (which I don't) and I think it's kind of an eye sore.  The goal is to get a nice white desk, so that will be my next big purchase hopefully with my little blue Stella card!  I would also like a little bulletin board or something too, as I am starting to get lots of little stuff for Brooke's preschool and need a place to keep it all.  *Hence my messy stacks on the unused monitor!!  I'm just trying to not break the bank, knowing we'll be moving in 2 years anyway.

I did buy a little desk light from Target as the room can be a little dark.  I keep my journals/calendar here and really do a lot of Stella work, all of our bills and everything for our rental properties.

I also really enjoy writing my blog in here.  For me this little space has helped me become more myself.  I find solace in having a little area of my own where I can just let thoughts and dreams run wild, as well as earn a little extra income for my family!

I still have to say my favorite place would be our land. It's hard because I don't go there a lot, but it doesn't mean I don't think of it.  I dream of our new home, our yard where the kids will play and grow and our dogs will roam.  I envision a pool and nice deck to entertain friends in the Summer. I think of all of the meals I will cook in our new kitchen, overlooking the living room.  I cannot wait until I have my big closet and can hang up all of my things! And of course I love the 20 acres we can walk, ride around on the atv and just be one with nature.  

What is your favorite space or place?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fashion Friday {#OOTD}

It's Friday, so that means we talk Fashion!

The temps have been all over the place, from 50s to 80s this week! Crazy.  I had to share the adorable collage above, because I LOVE everything about it! Our Stella & Dot necklaces, earrings, bracelets, & wallets are perfect additions to your Fall wardrobe.  Interested in getting them for free? Let's chat! I am scheduling into December now!  Booties, jeans, sweaters & vests are a must.  Pumpkin everything? Yes please!

So onto my outfits...

Last Friday I had my acupuncture appointment.  It was rather chilly in the am, so I was excited to wear a sweater and scarf! I also treated myself to a Matcha Latte.

My jeans are form express and they're so comfy!  My bag is from the Covet line. Booties from Marshalls.

Monday we had Bradley's checkup--healthy boy--so I went with a quick ponytail, headband, zip up hoodie and leggings combo.  I throw on the silver wired hammered hoops to help me feel like I am put together!!

Tuesday I had to drop off Brooke to preschool & run grocery shopping.  I love our new smokey studs.  I also threw on my engravable disc with B|B for Brooke & Bradley.  It was warm out so I just wore a tee shirt and capris leggings--then changed into shorts because it was 80!

Tuesday night was warm enough still, so I put on the Carly LuLaRoe dress.  I paired the new celestial hoops with the rose gold wishing necklace & Brio Tassel.

**Trend alert** Chokers are back!! I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, but I kinda am digging it!
This Emme choker is from our new line and it fills my 90s girl heart! I love how easy it is to tie in a bow. You can wear it as a headpiece, lariat or bracelet too.

Obviously this isn't mine, but I sure want to recreate it!! I love the stripes and the leopard print with the colorful pop of the Brio. 

What trends are you loving this Fall?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Favorite Beauty Products

I'm definitely not a beauty guru, but with the help of my girlfriends, I am slowly becoming more confident with makeup.  I have some tried and true favorites as well as some newer additions to my routine.

I am not a huge makeup risk taker, but I am trying to venture out of my comfort zone and am willing to try new things!  That said, my skin is super sensitive and very picky.  I have to be really careful with what I use so that I don't breakout. These are just my thoughts and no, I'm not getting paid or sponsored to talk about about any of these!!

I use an eyelash curler and L'oreal has never done me wrong!  I am lucky to have decent lashes and I struggle trying to apply fake ones, so I gave up on that. This is my current favorite!

I love the feeling of something freshly sprayed on my face before applying makeup or after taking it off at night.  This Rose water from Younique smells amazing and really helps refresh my skin.

Skin Care:
One of my sister's good friends sells MK so I decided to give it a shot. I have had a few pimples, but I don't think they were caused by this.  (I do get a few every other month) so far I've been using this routine for about a month and a half.  I think my skin is looking quite nice and so far I'm very pleased!  I feel confident just wearing a little cover up and my complexion rescue out and about.

After I moisturize, I will put a little bit of this around my nose and forehead.  I feel that it helps my pores look smaller & keep the makeup in place.

This is the hardest for me; I love trying new and different kinds of foundation but my skin really only likes Bare Minerals it seems.  I do like their original mineral powder, but lately this has been my go to.  I like the "Natural 05" shade best for me.  It gives a little bit of a tint; I don't like to look pale.

Under Eye Concealer:
I've tried others, but ALWAYS come back to this. It helps the dark circles and I use it to cover up blemishes too.

Setting Powder:
I didn't really "get" what this did until recently.  After I apply my complexion rescue, I brush on a little bit of this to keep it in place.


This is a great little travel case and my favorite bronzer right now.  I love that it has a place for lip gloss as I always need gloss.

I scooped this big boy up at Target and love using it for my bronzer. It's big and fluffy!

If I'm feeling extra flirty, I'll add a little blush to my cheekbones. This is my favorite!

Eye Liner:
I use Bare Minerals. I like the absolute black and usually only line my upper lids slightly; if I want more dramatic (date night) I will line the bottom too.

As for eye shadows, I tend to stick to neutrals/browns. I do like pinks/jewel tones, but I'm still playing around with those.  

New Products:
Eye cream
Liquid Lip 
Eye shadow palette. 

I need to play and report back on these!

Eye cream:
I do wear this at night.  I try to put it on in the morning but there's a lot of other stuff going on and I don't always remember.

After my birthday facial, the girl told me this would help with my "pregnancy mask" and to apply it in the morning.  I am almost out of it and my skin issues have resolved...but the sun has disappeared, so it could be that too! I like this though and would probably use it again.

Removing makeup: 
I'm lazy at night. I try to wash, but some nights I just wipe. These are my go-to.

Sunless Tanner:
My favorite sunless tanner is still this one. I like others, but this gives me the best non-orange, no streak look. I can apply it a few days and it doesn't look weird.  I'm out and need more before Vegas!

I am half tempted to do a get ready with me video, just because it may be fun! But I don't know if I'm ready for that.  

What are your favorite beauty products?  Any tips to share?