Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Hi Pretty People,

With our vacation coming up, I am going to take a quick break from blogging. I have to concentrate on that silly thing called a J-O-B & tie up some loose ends with our house etc. so I will be back in two short weeks. Promise.

I will hopefully have lots of photos to share and new blog ideas.

Picture from our Honeymoon :)
Fedoras mean you are on vacation.

In the meantime, I have never asked, but let me know if there is something you would like to see me write about. I am getting close to the six month mark on this little space, which is really exciting, but I need a little nudge and an extra kick so don't leave me hanging.

If you have some ideas, SPILL IT!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! See you soon!

XO, Jess

Friday, February 21, 2014

Runners Tell All

Linking up today with Lady Okie!!! I just love her blog and her genius link up idea : )

Every month runners will be linking up to write about a new running topic. 

The link up this month is: Your Running Story in 250 words. I think I nailed it in 133. Call me an over achiever.

I started running when I was a figure skater in high school. My programs needed to get faster so I needed to too. I wasn't running seriously though, just speed stuff.

Last spring, I ran in my first race on Saint Patrick’s Day. I knew I could run 4 miles but I wasn't sure how fast or if I would like racing so I signed up to see what would happen &&& also to drink beer.

The running bug bit me hard and now I am four half marathons in and my fifth is coming up.

Running makes me appreciate my body and everything it can do for me. No other sport has really done that. It has changed how I think, how I cope, and how I see the world around me. 

If you want to read my whole running story, you can read it here. 

AHHH I can't wait to be a big nerd and read everyone else's post about how they found running. If you are a runner, you know how fun it is to ask people how they started. I like details & to be all creepy about it so this is the perfect link up for me.

If you are a runner or just starting to think about running, visit Lady Okie's blog and check out all the awesome bloggers who run too.

Happy Friday!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

life on a mat

Wow. I miss running.

I have logged some good miles lately on the treadmill but I am craving a good long run outside. That is real running to me. I know a lot of people could argue otherwise but that is just how I feel.

I need some new pictures.

I need a run where the sweat is dripping down my shins, and I am cursing the sun, yet the air is really cool because it is still early morning & a small breeze every so often... WOW...I think I just went to my happy place. I will stop rambling...

So not a new story here but mother nature has really stolen running from me this winter, and in the last few weeks when I have been really angry over it I have turned to hot yoga. I talked about it here and here.

What I haven't talked about though is that although running is number one for me, I have a real passion for yoga and what it brings to my life. Running calms me, but not like yoga. Yoga is different. Not very different, but in some really important ways it is, and lately I have been thinking about getting certified as an instructor.

I am not sure how or when. I have started some research but I feel a huge push to learn more and find a way to share what I learn with others. I think the basis of yoga can help everyone's goals... whether it be athletic, professional or personal. Opening your heart and mind to yoga is sometimes a weird feeling at first but once you really open up, you learn these valuable lessons that just are not taught anywhere else but the mat.

I want to share one today.

If you have done yoga or even if you haven't, you know there are a lot of poses that focus on balance. Often before you kick your foot up in the air or balance on one leg the instructor will tell you to focus your gaze. Pick a point in the room and focus. Not a piercing stare but a soft gaze.

This technique, called Drishti, is almost magical, even to the most uncoordinated. It is like the unsteady, wobbly parts of you just fall away.

Could you imagine if we could do this in our day to day lives away from a mat??? Find the important focus and leave the wobbly parts of us go. Concentrate on our strong bodies and hearts and be steady rocks for ourselves & our families. Your gaze would have to be just right and your focus on exactly what you need though...I think I find that to be the hardest part. Sometimes I finally find my focus but I still make choices to look away and get distracted.

The world is full of noise. You make your own noise, your boss adds noise... your husband, your kids, your parents. Although running helps quiet the noise, sometimes it doesn't. I put pressure on myself. I get angry during runs. I push through, sure! and usually great things happen but Katy Perry is also usually playing loudly in my ear.

In yoga you have to quiet your noise. You have to listen to it, deal with it, and release it. Otherwise you are going to fall on your face. It isn't a race or a competition. It is time with yourself, forgiving yourself. Yoga is for wringing yourself out...like a towel (that is what my favorite instructor says).


Anyways, I started this blog with a lot of focus on running and I guess I realized that there are other parts of my healthy lifestyle (besides the wine and taco bell) that I want to start to focus on too. More to come on the yogi in me : )

Please let me know your experiences with yoga! 
Any Yoga instructors out there??? Any advice?

Monday, February 17, 2014

We like to keep it random.

Because practice makes perfect...

Jacob and I spent Saturday afternoon at a bar asking each other questions. To be 100 percent honest it was because we are trying to prepare for the Newlywed Game Show on our cruise coming up.

If you have been on a cruise I sure hope you went to see the Newlywed Game. Basically you walk into the theater and if you are married you grab a number. They call maybe four couples up at random and it is about the funniest two hours of your whole life. I have never seen a comedy show that was more hilarious than this.

It is uncensored.
Everyone is already pretty drunk cause DUH it is a cruise & &&&
if you win, you win some amazing prizes.

I would die if we were picked. THEREFORE preparation is key.

So anyways we found ourselves at 2 pm drinking beer solidifying our answers to typical questions.

I wanted to ask you all some and see if you would really know these answers. Then in turn I will answer them because...well because.



If your spouse were a character in a movie, what actor would they say would play them? Who would you say would play you?

Jacob told me Reese Witherspoon would play me. After he said that I couldn't think of anyone else so that seems okay. 

Jacob of course answered for himself saying he wishes more than life itself Nicholas Cage could play him.

After I got done gagging to death, I told him it would have to be Jake Gyllenhaal.


What would your spouse say they would most like to see you take a course/class in? 

I said that Jake would say anger management for me. For sure ...ding ding ding! I was right.

I couldn't think of anything for Jake {probably too much beer} but I eventually said he needs to take a class to prepare for law school and interviewing...lame answer I know.


Excluding people, what is your spouse's most prized possession?

Pretty much in unison we said Emma. Which doesn't count cause she is a dog person (anyone who just rolled their eyes, I deserve it). So we agreed on our wedding rings. Jacob did say if we are speaking of symbolic things he would say my running shoes----Those help keep me from actually having to attend an anger management course so they are pretty important. To both of us :)


What would your spouse say their theme song would be?

This was too hard. We are still in discussions.

Well after a few drinks we realized that going on a date and asking each other random things is kind of fun and maybe we should do it more often.

I dare you to try it! Start with the questions I listed.

Anyways this post was as random as ever but I have vacation on the brain so you won't get many other topics out of me this week :) Wish us luck on our preparation for game day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

thoughts from a bathroom stall

Last weekend while we were in Chicago I spent some much needed time with this girl.

We have been BFFs since we were 14. NBD.

Anyways we went to a comedy show on a whim and it was great. During the short intermission we took the above selfie of course and visited the ladies room. As you can imagine the bathroom was randomly scattered in graffiti signatures/drawings----just like every other dive bar in history.

I usually find them amusing, but this time I didn't pay much attention (probably because I was concentrating on instagraming our selfie. priorities people!! ) until I was actually peeing.

Ya TMI, I know.

Well low and behold I had to whip out my phone and start snapping pictures because these were the kindest, most motivating bathroom stall writings I have ever encountered.

"Your jokes are better the more you love yourself."

"List 5 things that make you happy right now: Boyfriend, Craft Beer, Dog, Sunshine, Home grown produce : )"

"Love & Accept yourself unconditionally right now.
I don't know about you but usually when I read the stuff on the side of a bathroom wall I either want to do one of two things.

{one} wash my hands (read: take a shower)
{two} find the girl who wrote such a mean thing and punch her

On that note, I was given the gentle reminder on a random Saturday night that there actually are very sweet, supportive, encouraging women out there. We can lift each other up--- whether it be by writing a blog, an email to a friend, a note to a stranger, or even on the side of a bathroom stall for all to see.

Let's keep that up pretty people. Happy Wednesday : )

Monday, February 10, 2014

Three Thoughts on a Monday

1. My version of vacation boot camp starts today.

I was weirdly excited this morning because I have planned out all of my meals for the week, scheduled hot yoga sessions ahead of time (so I can't make excuses) and got the husband to even jump on board.

I am trying my best to cut out the excessive amount of carbs I have been eating and load up on protein. I also think that I will be cutting down on my beloved Cardio and picking up even more weight. Between lifting & some hot yoga plus eating clean I am hoping to really tone up. Well that is my plan at least...in case you care. Ryan CARES : )

I wrote a long time ago about hot yoga (read it here). I adore it. On my obsession scale, it is such a close second to running for me. Unfortunately the studio I love is not close and it costs a lot of money, so I am forced to spread out my sessions.

If you have never tried it, I would totally recommend giving it a shot. Every class and every studio I have been to is fullll of different shapes, sizes, and athletic ability. Yoga sounds intimidating to so many people (especially hot yoga), which just should not be the case because true yogis are really centered and focused on themselves during class. Yoga is personal and no one is judging you. The instructors are usually so welcoming & I have never had a bad experience, yet!

2. Sunday nights, when the Monday blues start setting in, I am suddenly able to cope because I remember all the bad TV that will be my reward when I get home... Anyone else?

Today I saw that on Nicole's Blog, Pumps & Iron,  she created a Bachelor workout! It is so perfect, totally genius and with the way the show has been going this season I am pretty sure this "workout game" will kill me.

I pinned it here.

3. Last but not least, we spent some time in Chicago this weekend. They have way too many of those adorable dog boutiques. I couldn't pass up a sweet treat for Emma and new rubber boots.

She has been in so much pain this year because of how cold and salty the roads are : ( We have had to skip taking walks and just play in the yard. So I am super excited to see how she reacts to boots. It doesn't seem to be warming up here anytime soon so it was probably a good purchase : ) more pictures to come. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

I love you times infinity.

Last night I hung out with my mom.

For as high maintenance as the two of us can be (she taught me her ways) we are pretty low key on a week night. It usually includes power shopping and taco bell drive thru at exactly 9:01 pm after the stores are closed.

I know I mentioned it before here about how my mom struggles with Multiple Sclerosis. I don’t really want this post to be about that, but more so how selfless she is and always has been. 

The other night I poured all my worries and doubts and feelings out to her. It is a strange thing really because my problems are so stupid compared to what she deals with every day. However, never once has she compared her struggles to mine. She thinks my problems are real. She tries to sort them out with me and she makes me feel better by just listening. I know a lot of people have hard relationships with their parents, mine hasn't always been the best, but I guess I just feel really thankful this week that somehow I lucked out to have a mom that just listens. I know a lot of girls who would die for that.

Lately, I feel bad because my job takes away so much of the time we used to have together. We would have a girls day almost every week, like last night. My mom would spoil me rotten & we would get our nails done & eat lunch/dinner out, usually at the Cheesecake Factory. My dad would have a flipping heart attack every time the bills came in, but we still did it. Every week. Rain or shine. 

**joys of living near home throughout college**

It just stinks that we don't get that time every. single. week. anymore.
I think a lot more about being a mom these days, which probably makes sense. We will be married two years this summer. It just isn't in the cards anytime soon & I am more than okay with that. I just know that when I do become a mom I want to find that selflessness that my mom has. The power to just forgo whatever I might be dealing with to comfort my kid.

A lot of you moms will probably tell me it is just something that happens when you have a little person & I am sure it is. I guess I am not really talking about the selflessness though when you have dirty diapers and a sick baby. I am talking about the selflessness that you still have when your babies are grown and you start seeing them as adults but you still understand that sometimes they just need their mom.


Anyways I didn't know it but I needed my mom this week. I am super thankful that I have her and since she is one of the three people who regularly read this blog, I wanted to make sure she knows how much I love her.

P.S. Call your mom today if you can : )

Happy Friday! Have a beautiful weekend. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

life update...sort of

Let me update you on a whole lot of nothing.


Our house is still for sale. Jacob hasn't officially chosen a law school. I think we pretty much have a plan in mind but we are waiting on a few things. The first thing that really needs to happen is selling this house. I can't even imagine how much less stress I will feel when it is snatched up. Which honestly it should be. It is the cutest house and everyone who walks through has given us great feedback but who wants to buy when it is negative 2 degrees and you can't actually see the exterior of the house because it is surrounded by 6 feet of snow... 

The right family will buy it. I just know it. A huge hurdle is this weather, but I can't help but complain. I am so sick of keeping it in perfect condition. Actually that is a huge lie. I am a clean freak. Let me rephrase. I am sick of having to keep my clothes in check. Creating closet tornadoes is my specialty and I look forward to the day that I can embrace my talent again. 

Lastly, I just want to move ahead with our plans. I want to announce to the world what the hell we are doing and look forward to a new chapter. Still owning the house is kind of holding us back. 


I mentioned on Monday that we are going on vacation at the end of the month. I cannot even express in words how excited I am deep down, but before a big trip I am the least grateful/most unhappy person ever. I can't just get excited anymore and throw things in a bag and go. 
How stupid. 
Instead, I turn into this mad woman who has to accomplish 50 billion things before getting to the airport so that I have just an once of hope that I can relax. 
I know, I know...
I am contemplating therapy. 

Does anyone else get like this??? 

For example...I have to make appointments. I need to get my hair done and nails done. I need to do 25 loads of laundry. I need to pack the perfect outfits. I have got to detox this body of mine because I am seriously going to destroy my liver. I have just accepted it. I need to shop for 93 essentials at Target. I know I will forget at least a third of those 93 things and have to go back to Target. I have to make sure everything is perfectly arranged for Emma. I have to budget money and clean the house. I have to make sure all the bills are paid and clean the house...again.

Stressing about any of this is just plain stupid because I am lucky enough to be going on vacation!!! Seriously. But lets be honest, I can tell myself that a few hundred times but I will still be stressed until we leave & I am sipping on my 14$ glass of wine @ the airport @ 5 am. 

...It is moments like this, when I write things this ridiculous and I am totally frustrated that I have turned into this kind of adult.


People are mean & I am over it. Honestly, I have ran into the rudest people lately. Everywhere. 

I am just plain over it. Sure I may come on here and complain and say I am stressed. I might take my husbands head off or scream at my mom on the phone, but they are my family. They chose me... my mom didn't, but you get the idea. 

They have to deal with my crazy. 

The lady at the check out counter or the bank teller sure as heck don't have to. Sometimes I just want to rip people a new one. 

Fake being nice if you can't actually be nice. Just try it for one day and you will realize it isn't that damn hard. 99 percent of the time, people are not just sitting around trying to make your life hard. You are making it hard. Make the choice to be the nicest part of someones day. 

Say thank you and smile, dammit. 

Grrr I think this weather is getting to all of us no matter where we live in the country. God needs to start shining down some vitamin D soon so we can all get a little natural happiness. 


Last but not least, cause this is the month of Valentine's Day and all (& I want to end this on a positive note), I just wanted to say that lately I have been really in love with that guy I live with. 

I will spare you all the mushy details, but I think I take for granted when our marriage is easy as pie. Lately he has just been the best part of everyday. I might not be great at showing it all the time & I bet he reads this and is shocked because I haven't really said anything out of the ordinary but it feels good to say that I am pretty happy. 

I actually got sad yesterday for a half a minute because we have separate plans this weekend. Probably a good sign after almost 4 years I still want to hang out with him :)

Happy Hump Day Pretty People!

Monday, February 3, 2014

FEBRUARY favorite things: link UP!


I am so excited that it is finally February because we are finallyyyyyyyyyyy going on vacation! One year ago when we booked our cruise it seemed  like forever away...Now I only have a few short weeks to buckle down at work, buy a whole new vacation wardrobe (everyone does this right???) and concentrate on getting bikini ready :) 

More to come on all of that, but today I am linking up with Emily & Kylie to tell you some of my favorite things this month. 
Beauty and the Greek


I told you last week that I was saving some of my new favorite items from 2Vagabonds to share on the link up SO here they are!!

First, I am obsessed with this bracelet. It matches everything!!! & looks super cute layered with a watch.

My second favorite item are these earrings. They come in a few colors & they are as light as a feather. I am wearing them in the reddish brown.

Buy them here!


Right after the holidays were over I started trying some new healthy habits. Like actually taking my vitamins and trying to lift more weights. But one new habit I formed was drinking lemon water first thing in the morning and at night. Honestly, I can tell a huge difference in my skin and in my energy levels.

photo credit: pinterest.com
They say that lemon water helps oxygenate the body, which in turn wakes you up (i.e. I have been drinking less coffee in the morning). In addition it helps digestion, while also helping detox your body. 

So I aim to drink a cold cup in the morning and a warm cup before bed. Try it. I am hooked. 


So I started the search for a new bathing suit for our trip and I about died when the first one worked out! I couldn't find the exact one I snatched on Victoria Secrets website because I don't have patience but they have this new style (at least I didn't see it last year) in all sorts of cuts. 

Basically ruffling on the ends of the suit is where it is at, Ladies! It is SO flattering. 

Order it here.
I think because of the ruffling the suit isn't as tight, so it doesn't dig into you as much? Does that make sense? Well whatever the case I would recommend the style. 


Buy it here.
For the past few months I have been in love with this primer. IN LOVE. It goes on so smooth and I just feel great knowing it is both a primer and an anti age cream. It runs for only about $12.00 at Target.