28 in a Nutshell

“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.”

Hello everyone, I can’t believe we have almost made it to Friday- yahoo! Yesterday was my 29th birthday, and I felt like I needed to do a little reflection on the past year of my life. I truly am still in shock that this is my last year of my 20’s, AH! 

28 was one of my most memorable years yet. The biggest highlight being that this was the year I became a mom for the first time to little miss Brooklyn Ann. This year there was a lot that was out of my control and put into the hands of God. Through faith and prayers we were blessed with a healthy baby girl in September. I overcame numerous trials and came to realize the amount of strength I have within me. I have never been tested as much as I have over the last year, and am truly stronger than I ever thought imaginable. After being home with Brookyln for three months, I had the courage to quit my corporate job so I could take on one of the most important jobs in my opinion- raising my daughter. My birthday last year I was four months pregnant with no clue how much my life was going to change in the coming months. My birthday this year, I have a seven month old daughter who brings me more joy than I have ever experienced or thought possible. 

The word ‘blessed,’ to me, is an over-used phrase and as I sat up in bed last night after what was a hands-down perfect and special day, I couldn’t come up with a better word for how I feel about my life. I am so very beyond blessed- with incredible family, friendships, job, health, and happiness.

In a previous post I wrote about how good friends are hard to find, and with a precious few, you should hold on. This last year I have been blessed with the best friends I could have ever asked for (near and far). I am surrounded by the most thoughtful, loving, and caring friends who have been with me through thick and thin. Even my friends without kiddos of their own, love and care so much not only for me, but for little B as well. The amount of love I felt yesterday was unlike any other year- the pictures that were shared, calls, texts, one of my best friends from middle school took me to breakfast, face-times, walks with neighbors etc. were enough to fill my love bucket for years to come. Thank you to everyone who reached out- I feel extremely fortunate to have you in my life.

For my family, I can’t thank you enough for all that you do for me. I have an extremely loving and caring husband, daughter, fur baby, parents, sister, brother,  in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. They have been there for me through the biggest trials from the past year and I can always count on them. I was overjoyed to spend the afternoon with my parents, sister, nephews, and daughter sharing laughs and love around the lunch table. I then came home to be spoiled and pampered by my husband and daughter with a fun family pizza night, cheesecake, singing, laughing, dancing, and a big celebration to top off the night. 

I can’t thank everyone enough for their love and support over the last year. 28 is a year for the books and will be a huge milestone for me forevermore. I love you all so much and can’t wait to see what this next year will bring- Bring it on 29!!! You have a lot to live up to 😉

Chat with you all soon!

xoxo,

Jamie

What’s your fit?

Fitness

I think that weight and self-image are a constant battle for many people, myself included. We are always striving to ‘lose weight’ or get ‘skinny’ or get in shape for that ‘summer bod.’ I think that the media has skewed our vision of what the average person can and should look like. We are bombarded with the image of these tiny models and we all think we need to look the same in order to be pretty.

News flash- these models might look ‘skinny’ but at what cost? They aren’t ever allowed a french fry, or ranch dressing, a burger, pizza, dessert, a cocktail, and the list goes on. I’m not sure about you, but having the ability to eat what I want brings me a lot of happiness 🙂 I think that there should be a happy medium between eating healthy majority of the time but not necessarily ALL the time. It’s following the 80/20 rule. Eat well 80% of the time, but save up for that 20% where you can eat those delicious (not so healthy) foods. This allows you to live a life worth living. These models and celebrities are society’s example of ‘skinny’ but how is that word even defined? People are constantly trying to achieve this ideal weight they see in magazines or on TV and it just isn’t realistic.

In addition to eating right (majority of the time), I think that fitness plays an important role in staying healthy (notice I didn’t say skinny). Since having a baby seven months ago, I have fought hard to get back into my pre-pregnancy shape. I have been eating healthier foods more often, and I have since gotten back into a gym routine where I workout 3-5 days per week. Now that I have a little girl looking up to me as her mama, I need to make sure that I give her the confidence and positive body image that she should have through my own actions and lead by example. I have made a conscious effort not to talk about getting ‘skinny’ or ‘losing weight’ but rather to be healthy and a strong woman. I think it is important as we become role models for our kids to be positive about our bodies no matter the shape or size. We need to build confidence in ourselves which then shows them to be confident and love the body they have.

Fit to me is getting strong so that I can tote around my little girl everywhere I go. To show her the strength and confidence I have about my own body so that hopefully that same strength and confidence is passed through to her as she gets older and feels pressure to be ‘skinny’ or look like her favorite celebrity. My daughter has been the biggest reason I have changed the way I treat and talk about my body- she will follow my example, not my advice.

You’re only given one body, and your job is to love the one you’re in. What is your fit?

Chat with you all soon!

xoxo,

Jamie

Disney World Vacation

For those that follow me, you know my last family travel day was a disaster with the baby and delays 🙂 whereas this one, was a breeze! We went to Disney World to celebrate my in-laws 60th birthdays and had such a great trip!

It was filled with busy days in the park, dining out in Epcot, delicious drinks from ‘around the world’, firework shows, and a whole lot of fun.

IMG_8055

We traveled with less baggage this time, but were way more prepared 🙂

You live and you learn and last trip I checked a stroller rather than bringing it through security and had the 5 hour delay. This time I brought a light-weight stroller and gate checked it and it made it very easy to transport Brooklyn through the airport.

The first day in Disney we toured Magic Kingdom and rode all of the fun rides in the park like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and more of the Disney favorites. We dined out in Epcot for dinner, saw the Gin Blossoms concert (which was incredible) and a firework show.

The second day we did Epcot where Brooklyn was able to go on lots of different rides, watch her daddy scuba dive in the Seas with Nemo and friends, lots of fun places to walk around and see, dined out in Epcot again, and we got to see a fun firework show.

The third day we went to Hollywood Studios and got to ride all of the crazy roller coasters like Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and go on some fun rides about famous films. It was Easter Sunday and they had lots of fun scavenger hunts for the kids, the Easter bunny delivering Easter baskets in the hotel, and was really a fun day for the families there. We had such a fun trip to Disney and lucked out with great weather in the 80’s and one big (7-month-old) trooper

A couple of Tips for WDW if you are planning a trip:

It was a very happy 60th birthday celebration for my mother-in-law and father-in-law with lots of fun family time in Disney World. I enjoyed getting a day to spend in each of the three parks we chose and would highly recommend doing it that way for anyone contemplating going to Disney World. It gave us enough time to ride the rides we wanted, but also didn’t make us feel like we needed to stay there all afternoon into the evening every night. If you are booking a trip to Disney anytime soon, make sure to make dinner reservations for each night you are there if you are dining in the parks as they get super busy and crowded! Fast passes were a huge help and you can start organizing which rides you want to use the fast pass on once you buy your tickets. The popular rides with long wait times I would definitely get a fast pass for- ie: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, the new Frozen ride, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. Make sure to bring lots of sunscreen, a couple hats, and sunglasses. If you are 21+ years of age, you cannot miss the frozen coconut pineapple Sake drink in Japan in Epcot- it was by far, my favorite drink I think I have ever had! This trip was much more fun because of the planning that took place ahead of time- get your tickets, start deciding on fast passes, and make those dinner reservations!

Chat with you all soon!

xoxo

Jamie

Friendships- When to Let Go

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. The older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

I know we’ve all been there- wondering how or why you lost a friend. As I’ve gotten older, I have found that there are always people put in your life for what you need at that time. Growing up, you have a few best friends and as you mature through high school and college you have lots of acquaintances, but fewer and fewer close friends. This quote rings true on so many levels. I have made some incredible friendships over the past couple of years, and I have also lost some friends over these years. The friendships I have held onto from college, high school, and middle school are some of my strongest friendships I have. These are the friends who have known me almost my entire life! They know the young girl who poured her heart into sports, stressed about every test in school, dealt with heartbreaks as they came, laughed uncontrollably, loved slumber parties, had way too much fun throughout college, they know me at my absolute worst and my best, and yet they still love me (this includes family- my parents, my siblings, my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents). I am always so thankful to have these precious few friendships that date all the way back to those young, stress-free years. I have reconnected with several of my wonderful friends from middle and high school and it is always like no time has passed and we pick up where we left off. I am beyond grateful for the wonderful friends who have touched and changed my life for the better. You come to realize that “sometimes your circle decreases in size, but increases in value”. I’m always stumped as to why some friendships come to an end, but honestly, you don’t have the time to sit and dwell or wonder. I have come to realize that my life is no different without that person in it. I need people in my life that make a difference. Not many of my friends are moms yet, but they understand my life has a changed a little with having a baby and still want to be a part of it. They love my daughter, but they also know that I can leave her with daddy and have a fun night out. Friendship is a two-way street, and as we get older and mature, we don’t have time for the friendships that aren’t bringing us happiness or take too much to nurture. We all have our own lives to live and life changes, and its important to “understand that people change and sometimes they are no longer compatible with our lives. We just have to learn to accept it and move on”. Friends are such an important piece of our lives and as we get older, it is important that you know people from when you were young. Throughout the trials in life and the deck of cards you have been dealt, these friends remain constant- and know the you in which you were raised and haven’t wavered too far. They help keep you in check 🙂

As a person who has wondered why some friendships haven’t lasted, don’t waste too much of your time or energy wondering why. Keep on moving and put the time and effort into the relationships you love and care for. “God puts people in your life for a reason, and removes them from your life for a better reason.” I have been told that friends are the family you get to choose, or the ‘siblings God forgot to give you”. Be picky of these friendships- and know how important these friendships are throughout your life. ❤

Chat with you all soon!

xoxo

Jamie

Bachelor Watch Party: Success

collage- bachelor

Bachelor Night Watch Party

Yep, this is happening. I am going to go full on nerd here. I have a friend from High School who has hosted a bachelor watch party for 4 or 5 years now which is 8 or 10 seasons of the bachelor/bachelorette. There is a group of about 10 or so girls that get together every Monday to have dinner together and watch it. It makes watching the show so much more fun when we can chat about all the drama and pick who we think will win, who we like best, etc. The finale of Nick’s season of the bachelor is premiering next week and I am so sad because it gives me something to look forward to every Monday. Anyways, my friend Rachel is on a beach vacation (lucky gal) with her family and her five-month-old son so I hosted the event for this week. 

It was the fantasy suite date episode, the final 3 women, and also women-tell-all (3 hours of show). For those of you who watch, you know that Chris Harrison tells us it’s the ‘most dramatic episode yet’. Well, us girls popped a few bottles of wine, had a nice dinner, and snuggled in to watch the show and holy drama! The girls on the show are so catty and pick fights with each other and its extremely entertaining to watch. My favorite part about last night was we all kept coming up with hysterical memes throughout the entire show of certain girls facial expressions and what the best/funniest verbiage would be.

If you and your friends have a favorite show, I highly suggest having someone host at their house each week so you can watch and gossip about it all together (or maybe you pick up the Bachelor because there is so much fun drama). It makes it so much more fun! For anyone who watches the bachelor, you should make these cute rose apple puff pasty desserts I made last night maybe for next weeks finale- they are so darn cute! Also, that E wine was delish- we drank every last drop 🙂 My mom actually suggested that wine, and everyone really enjoyed it! Have you noticed the theme? Red wine, red glasses, red apple dessert, we had spaghetti with red sauce, the list goes on, haha!

rose dessert

Will you accept this rose? Apple and cinnamon desserts 

Chat with you all soon!

xoxo

Jamie

Brooklyn’s First (disastrous)Trip- Dallas

Okay so it has taken me a couple weeks to finally write about our first trip with a baby- as it took me a bit to get over the dilemmas of the trip and be able to write about them, haha!

Brooklyn was five months when she got to ride in her first airplane from Denver to Dallas in February. Since it was also my husband and I’s first time flying with a baby, we decided to arrive a few hours early to the airport to make sure things went swimmingly. Thinking we were being smart, we decided to check her carseat and stroller so we didn’t have to haul them around the airport or through security and we could just strap her to us with the Ergo. Once we were through security we found out our flight was one hour delayed- not bad. We decided to go get lunch at a restaurant to pass the time.

img_5725

Brooklyn and Seth dining before flight

Once we finished our lunch we went back to our gate in hopes of boarding soon. We come to find the flight was 2+ hours delayed. So we decided to walk around to pass the time, going to different terminals, looking in gift shops, etc. Then it was announced it was 3 hours delayed. At this time we were both so annoyed that I went to the gate to find out what was wrong. The plane had mechanical issues and had landed in Vegas and was waiting for the part to be fixed.

By this time, we had tried to fly standby on every other flight to Dallas and didn’t get on since ya know, we don’t have status. Then it was changed to 4 hours delayed. Finally, at 4.5 hours delayed we finally had a plane and were able to board.

img_5730

Now that you can understand our frustration, Southwest Airlines issued each passenger a $200 voucher which was extremely generous! Now, where to fly to next? haha. Once we got on, Brooklyn loved being on the plane and was awake the entire flight just content and quiet which was a huge relief for both my husband, Seth and I.

Once we arrived in Dallas we checked into our hotel at 9:30pm. Of course there was a HUGE trade show at our hotel and we got put in the worst hotel room. It was an accessible room, right off the elevators where we could hear everything and it consistently woke Brooklyn throughout the night and into the wee hours of the morning. Needless to say, we got no sleep and were extremely lucky to have gotten a different hotel room that next morning for the remainder of our trip. After those ‘minor’ hiccups, we had an absolutely amazing trip!

We got to see the SMU campus (where my husband went to school), see a few of our friends, dine at some good restaurants (Cedar Grove was the best for anyone in or going to Dallas), shop, enjoy the warm weather, and introduce Brooklyn to the pool.

dallas-collage

A snapshot of our trip to Dallas- beautiful and fun

The trip home was uneventful and flawless, luckily! For any new parents who have not traveled with their babies yet, my one piece of advice is to gate check your stroller and car seat so you don’t have to tow your little one around if you have a 4.5 hour delay 🙂

Looking back on our trip now, we can finally laugh at all of the things that went wrong, but learned a lot for the next trip we take. In fact, we have another upcoming adventure to Disney World come April, so stay tuned for another ‘traveling with baby’ post! (Hopefully this one will be perfect ;)).

Chat with you all soon!

xoxo,

Jamie

 

 

Jump Up Jump Up and Get Down

jump-rope

Jump roping for a healthy heart!

Not everyone has a gym to workout at, but there are plenty of things you can do at home to get your exercise in. With the weather being absolutely beautiful in Denver today and with my daughter taking a nap in her crib, I decided against a run today and went for jump roping instead. I actually used to compete competitively on a jump rope team way back in elementary school, but I still got it 😉 I couldn’t jump rope as long as I could then, but I sure did get my heart rate going this morning. Just a fun option other than running for some an home workout!

 

Back to Basics

img_6209

Simple and cute outfit for every day- basic white tee with jeans and tennies

I love a simple outfit that anyone can put together with the wardrobe they already have. No need to go out and shop to get this look! A basic white tee paired with dark jeans and white converse. You could really wear any tennies you have in your closet- sometimes I like to add fun, colorful shoes to this look.It’s a perfect outfit for a day spent at the mall. This is Brooklyn’s fav outfit so she wanted to wear it too 😉

Friday Family Fun Night

Hey there, happy Friday everyone! We all made it through another week and most of us have a long weekend to look forward to! My husband and I are typically so exhausted come Fridays that we like to stay in and relax for the evening. 

When I was a kid, we used to have Friday Family Fun nights- feasting in front of the fire! 🙂 I remember always looking forward to being able to hang out with my brother, sister, mom and dad and it was extra special to be able to sit and eat dinner in the family room, in front of the tv next to a blazing fire. Well, that tradition has continued on to now be a tradition with my little family. We cozy up to watch a movie every Friday with a fun meal. If you are looking for an easy, fun, and interactive dinner for tonight, try making your own pizzas! 

Pre-baked crust made for a crispier crust- we used mozzarella and Parmesan, but use any cheese you like!

This pizza peel is a life savor for keeping your pizza together when taking it in and out of the oven


We typically buy our ingredients at Whole Foods, but this sauce pictured above I picked up at Tuesday Morning. 

I have been to cooking class to learn the best techniques for making your own pizzas and if you like your crust a little crispy, roll and toss your dough to your liking, and pre-bake the dough at 450 degrees for ten minutes. Then top with your favorite pizza sauce, cheeses, and toppings and throw it back in the oven until your cheese melts (about 15 minutes). If you prefer your crust softer don’t pre-bake, however, toss your dough then add your toppings and bake it all together for 15-20 minutes. I really like putting a coat of garlic olive oil on the dough to add a little extra flavor before putting sauce on- so if you like garlic, I highly recommend trying that. Also, if you like sausage we have tried both ground sausage that we cook on the stove top, and also grilling sausage links and cutting them up. I prefer sausage on the grill as it adds a nice texture for your pizza!

Another tactic that I have learned is that a pizza stone makes a world of difference when you are baking the crust. We preheat the stone so that it is nice and warm and helps cook the crust equally from all sides. All of my pizza making tools have been purchased at Sur la Table where I also took my classes. For starters, I would pick up a pizza stone, a pizza cutter, and the utinsil to take the pizza in and out of the oven (pictured above). They do have starter kits too that would be helpful.

The final product- colorful and delish!

I hope you enjoy make-your-own pizza nights as much as we do! It’s fun, easy, and tastes incredible!

Chat with you all soon!

xoxo,

Jamie

Valentine’s Day, or ‘Singles Awareness Day’

Good afternoon everyone! As we all know, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. Some of you may have a valentine to share this holiday with, however, many of you probably don’t have someone to spend it with. I can’t tell you the number of Valentine’s Day’s I spent with my parents because of a lack of a date 🙂 I think the phrase ‘Singles Awareness Day’ is kind of a funny way to describe Valentine’s Day and rings true to those without Valentines (which was me for many of years). However, not to worry- you can change that mindset right around and have yourself a fun ‘GALentine’s day’ like I do with my mom and sister every year.

ladies-melting-pot

Sure you may not have a significant other to spend this holiday with but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and celebrate with other people you love whether that be family or friends. My mom, my sister, and I make a reservation at The Melting Pot where they serve a four-course delicious meal and we have named this tradition Galentine’s day. This is done typically a day or two before Valentine’s Day so we can make sure we do it on a weekend (leave the hubby’s and kiddos at home).We do a small gift exchange and just cozy up for a long lunch filled with chatting, laughs, and love. We all have husbands and kids at home and celebrate with them on February 14th but it is important to celebrate other kinds of love on this holiday too, so don’t forget that! You can make your own tradition and do this type of event on actual Valentine’s Day if you don’t have other plans already. 

Not to make you jealous, but I just had to include some photos of our fondue fun! We started with a cheese fondue and some tasty salads and then moved on to the main course which consisted of different kinds of meat and the cutest heart-shaped ravioli! 

melting-pot-meat

And then the way to any woman’s heart… the dessert. Complete with a variety of sweets, treats, and fruit to dip in the melted dark chocolate!

melting-pot-dessert

I was extremely stuffed after this ladies lunch, but enjoyed a very fun afternoon celebrating with my mom and sister. If you have a Valentine to celebrate with tomorrow, enjoy this romantic holiday, but if you don’t, maybe create a fun tradition with your friends or family to still share in the love of this holiday! I hope you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Chat you all soon!

xoxo,

Jamie