Monday, June 30, 2014

The Modern Tulip

Maeg featured me over on her blog today!!!

We teamed up to bring you some of the best advice for beginner runners.

I would love if you clicked on over to read the post (Click HERE) and visit her beautiful site. She really is a blogger I admire A LOT. To make her even cooler she has her very own BOUTIQUE too :)

&&&& she is offering 10% off with code: TULIP (Click HERE)

Happy Monday, pretty people!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

a good ol' fashion about me

This week I have noticed a little bump in traffic on the site! Which, by the way, makes me all warm and fuzzy inside...then I quickly come back down from my cloud and realize that people may have only stopped by to find out why a girl in her late twenties loves rhinos so much *weirdo* but in a hope that you stuck around waiting for a new post I wanted to write a quick welcome to anyone new.

Side note: I do share the story about the name of this blog here. If you still haven't popped over to read it go right ahead. It actually has to do with me being a distracted mess and my husband dealing with it and less about actual rhinos if that brings you any solace.

Anyways back to the point of this post. If you are new and I guess even if you aren't, I thought it would be completely unclever of me to just answer a good ol' fashion survey. Remember those on facebook or AIM or god-help-us-MYSPACE circa early 2000s? Well I swear I am more clever and older than 15 but maybe you will learn some useless information about me &&& decide we are long lost soulmates and keep coming back around :)

So let's get to it:

What is your name?


What is the last thing you ate?

Pickles. I eat pickles every darn day. If there is not a jar in the fridge, I pretty much panic.

Last person you hugged?

The three year old I nanny for. She hugs and kisses me everyday, all day. It's the best.

***This is probably a good segue into explaining a little more about our life currently. My husband is going to law school in the fall, in Chicago. So we packed up our life in Milwaukee (sold our house, quit our jobs and moved back in with his parents for the time being. We do change BIG.)

I nannied in college & after moving back home (Chicago) I found a perfect family to nanny for while we are here & I couldn't be happier. It is quite a change from the corporate world :)

One food for the rest of your life, go!

At first I would say peanut butter but I guess I don't want it alone so I think on the spot, in this very moment, I would have to say sushi.

If you were a crayon what color would you be?

I think this is an excellent question because it isn't exactly "what is your favorite color?"

You would want to be the favorite crayon so I would say "jungle green". It is more unique then just green, a tad brighter, but still picked a lot.

What is your favorite movie?

Sweet Home Alabama.

What time did you wake up today?

5:20...ya I know, EW. Ever since our move though I have been a part of the 5 am club and @ the gym or spending time with my running shoes each morning. I am afraid to skip a day because I am going on a month &&& I feel awesome that I have stuck with it.

If you were an animal what would you be?

Dolphin without a doubt. I think they are the coolest. They behave a lot like dogs in the water & they get to swim, jump, & play all day through out the waters of some pretty beautiful places.

How would you spend a day off of work?

I would run in the morning, outside & in perfect conditions.
I would have sushi for lunch with Jacob followed by FROYO.
I would get my nails done and go shopping WITH an iced coffee.
Then for dinner Jacob and I would curl up with either Chinese food or something we grilled PLUS a bottle of really good red wine & play scrabble.

Favorite TV show?

Of all time??? Easy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Runner-up? Friday Night Lights

Do you look like your mom or your dad?

I always say dad but you decide :)

3 things that upset you?

illness ---being sick, other's being sick, loved one's hurting

not being organized ---I went through stages of being a total slob but now I am ridiculously organzied, probably to a fault, but being a mess and losing stuff makes me want to scream

cars/insurance ---I am saying both count as one because they cost so much damn money for little return. I mean yes, I like being able to drive everywhere, but cars are worthless after you take them off the lot and insurance is a ridiculous scam

&&& so that you might actually get something out of this...question by moi:

Why did you start this blog?

I started this blog to connect with other women and to help support the blogs that I have read every day for so long. I love running and fitness so that is a focus I want to get better at representing but mostly I just love finding new people to connect with over all of life's little things---the small stuff that drives us crazy or makes our whole day.

Thanks for reading :)

Now so I get to know you better, answer a question from above in the comments!

Monday, June 23, 2014

GiGi giveaway!!!!

This week I am part of a pretty amazing giveaway!!! These ladies joined in on the fun too!

Rad Maverix // My Cup Of Sparkle // Wearable. // But First, Coffee // Flowers In My Hair
Birdie To Be // Lot48 // Recent Somethings // Army Ever After // Kids And Cabernet

Let me start this off with, "Hello! My name is Jessica and I have a bag addiction."

anddd being a part of this giveaway isn't helping any because now I want a GiGi New York clutch like no other.

To be honest, my collection of bags really haven't seen the light of day lately. For awhile now, I have only been loving on clutches and wristlets.
They are quick and to the point.
They hold just what I need and not a single thing more.
So it is noo wonder I just have to have a GiGi clutch asap.

I have started seeing these clutches all over and the option to add gold intialing pretty much makes me pink-puffy-heart-LOVE it even more!!!

I am kinda dying over this color.

All of the images included above are directly from my pinterest style board. Go follow me right this second, as well as these other pretty ladies for a chance to win one of your very own!!!

GiGi New York Giveaway

I Love You Rhinos // The Modern Tulip // Make Me Up Mia // F Yeah!
Red Maverix // My Cup Of Sparkle // Wearable. // But First, Coffee // Flowers In My Hair
Birdie To Be // Lot48 // Recent Somethings // Army Ever After // Kids And Cabernet

Winner must respond within 48 hours of being contacted or a new winner will be chosen randomly.
The winner has the option of adding gold initials into their clutch. Winner will have to pay $15 (per clutch) for initials.

good luck dolls!

What I have learned from a three year old.

As some of you know I have started nannying again.

I left my stressful days and endless hours in front of a computer &&& tied to a phone to instead be hugged, kissed, & playing dress up everyday. Real rough.

I am taking care of two munchkins, ages one & three. Honestly the one year old could not be easier. She smiles all the time, eats like a champ, and sleeps longer than my dog can. She wraps her tiny arms around my neck real tight when she sees me and it pretty much makes my whole day.

The three year old though gives me a run for my money, in the best way possible. The things she comes up with & says just can't be made up, but those will have to be stories for another day because I really just want to recap how she has changed me in two short weeks and probably taught me more than I have learned in the last year...

1. The first one is easy. Do not over or underestimate the power of a good hug or kiss for no reason at all. These girls are love bugs and although not all children are, or go through stages where they don't even want to be held, it has taught me to think about those two sweet actions more.

As adults we really only do these things to the people we love when we are greeting them or leaving. We probably aren't hugging or kissing our loved ones because they gave us our milk or helped us find something that went missing but maybe we should because it feels great to be loved a little more. 

2. Celebrate everything. It seems that three year olds celebrate everything from pooping to their favorite song playing on the radio. Every great thing that happens during their day gets celebrated and they are definetly happier people because of it. This celebration also is not commonly a simple "yay". No sir. It's a full blown dance party and if appropriate (& even if it's not) they make sure everyone around them knows the reason they are so happy. Three year olds are so smart because even at such a young age they realize that life should be a celebration and that happiness is contagious.

3. Time outs help. Sometimes I wish I could put the driver in front of me in time out or the rude lady at the grocery store but that's not what this point is about. 

This three year old I spend so many hours with honestly really has it together but obviously still receives a daily time out and it helps everyone. It helps her gather herself & gives me a second to breath as well as build more patience. If you take a few seconds to think about it basically her and I meditate everyday. May seem like a reach but it's honestly what it feels like when the house is quiet for five minutes. Then we come back more composed and enlightened. 

Since I have a little more time during the day now (i.e. Nap time) I have been doing this more on my own... Taking a few minutes to reflect, breath deeply and not touch my stupid phone. 

If a three year old needs breaks in her day to think, sleep and reflect &&& her biggest responsibility is learning how to color inside the lines, I would like to know why as adults we don't think we need/ deserve the same or more.

I am sure I will be adding to this list soon but that seems like a good start. If you have kids or work with kids I am sure you have some great lessons too. Pass 'em on! 


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The ONLY salad you need to eat this summer.

Moving in with your in-laws has a lot of perks especially if any of the following apply:

1. you love them
2. they are super hilarious
3. your MIL is the best cook (possibly in the world)

Because of number three there is a good chance my kids may actually survive one day. I tell Ellyn (my MIL) that we will be having full blown cook offs by the time I move out :) ----well let's hope I actually learn enough to make that dream come true... so far I am just doing a lot of eating.

Anyways, she made this salad the other day and you need to make it right this second. At the end of dinner I may or may not have been found with the serving bowl and spoon in my hand. I couldn't stop.

It is so fresh & light & only gets better with age (meaning you can make a huge vat of it on Sunday and let the yumminess continue throughout the week without anymore effort- awesomesauce, right???).

She got the recipe from Alton Brown and the Food Network Website here, but I will post it below.

12 ounces fresh or frozen shelled edamame, about 2 cups
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels, about 2 ears of corn
1/4 cup finely diced scallion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the edamame, corn, scallion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper into a 13 by 9 metal pan and stir to combine. Place on the middle rack of the oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, just until the edamame begins to brown. Remove from the oven and place in the refrigerator until completely cool, approximately 30 minutes.

Add the tomato, basil and vinegar to the edamame mixture and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Let me know if you are as obsessed as me :)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Friday photo dump!

My goal was to be world's best blogger once I moved and started my new job but turns out I just take a ton of pictures on my phone, plan to share, and fail miserably at opening my computer at the end of the night. 

I still have hope once I'm in the swing of things (it's only week two) I'm able to get my act together but for now here is a random update of all the things I missed posting... 

First! Our first weekend home (aka the weekend I moved to Illinois) we had an amazing cookout ... It pretty much marked the official start of summer for us.

Thennnn the next day we woke up and caught a train into downtown Chicago, met my bestest for brunch and ran on navy pier and by the lake... I should have blogged about this more because it was a perfect day but chances are this will be a regular occurrence now which is still weird to say/believe !!! so it's probably better I left it for a different time.

Also Emma misses Jake miserably since he is still in Wisconsin during the week... It kinda break my heart... 

I miss him too so I work hard at work on things like this to make him feel loved ...

Coloring and swinging all day is really hard work btw, just in case that was your next question (my post about what my new three year old BFF has taught me is still coming, dontcha worry) 

Speaking of!! hanging with little ones all day makes seeing small things in nature so much more fun. It's funny how quickly as adults we forget to be really excited about the world around us.

&&& with that I hope you have an awesome weekend and treat your dad pretty great on Sunday!

I'm taking my daddy-O running of course !!! &&& then helping him drink back the burned calories in beer :)


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Updates from a happy clam

In a few hours my bestest friend and I will be reunited !!! She is visiting all the way from San Francisco. We used to live together in Milwaukee but she decided CA had better weather or something and abandoned me...which I guess I should work up the courage to finally forgive her for... considering I live in Chicago now. 

We have pretty much one plan while she is here and that will be simply wrecking tons of havoc on the state of Illinois for the next few days...which unless she corrects me, I believe we have never done before. 

She is even nannying with me tomorrow and Friday night we will be doing it up big and fancy in downtown Chicago. 

I haven't really been able to think straight so if you were wondering where I have been all week, I was pretty preoccupied stressing over how many more minutes were left until she was here. 

...Anyways let's see if there is anything else notable to mention on this gloomy Wednesday...

---- I ran 6 miles on the treadmill this morning with Andi!!! 

I felt kind of bad because I really shouldn't be clocking miles on the dreadmill treadmill during summer but I make exceptions for the bachelor. It is just the right thing to do. Also I'm a little behind so no spoiling !!

I was weirdly proud when I was done. It was just a great run and I never say that about the treadmill so it kinda made my day.

---- Jacob was seriously so excited that some of you responded to his post. He is already talking about the next one and responding to your comments. Thanks so much for making him feel good. 

---- lastly I want you guys to come back soon to read for two reasons:

1. Kick ass edamame salad recipe!

2.  Blog post titled: what I have learned from a three year old in the last 14 days. 

Happy hump day :)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Guest post from the hubs today!

Finally !! Jacob mustered up enough guts to write a little something for the blog.

When he sent me the below post I couldn't stop smiling. Sometimes I am so happy I decided to keep him around forever :) 

Basically I wanted to start incorporating what my family thinks of the blog (a common question I have got) so I turned to Jacob first.

To my surprise, once Jacob thought about it for a little while he took it a step further and decided he wanted to start contributing to the blog by writing a few posts! 
Talk about real support! :)

So without further ado here is his first post!

Hello Rhino readers!!! (I've decided Jess needs to give you guys a name & I really like this one).

I've had quite a hard time trying to figure out what to write about. I don't want to jump right into my life and start with a law school post. 

I also don't want to re-hash my past vacations and excitement with Jess since you guy have already heard so much of that from her.  

So what does that leave me? 

I could always talk about Emma. 

I could talk about how much I hate running. Gasp. (But I still try every day because somebody motivates me too). But, alas, I don't think I'll talk about either of those things today. 

I think for this first post (of many??) I'll just do an introduction of what my guest blogging future could be. 

A few things I can't wait to talk about. 

1.  Law school. Obviously. I am definitely going to need a place to vent, question, praise, contemplate, ponder and evaluate my decision to start this new adventure. 

2. Television. I love tv shows. And 100% not the types of tv shows Jess watches. Sometimes our tastes overlap (the following, vampire diaries) but most the time they do not. Ever since the best show on television ended (LOST - and I will argue that point with you until I'm blue in the face) I have been entrenched in finding and watching good television. I don't know where I find the time but somehow I get my shows in. 

3. My life (before, during, and after Jessica). I guess I don't know why I think you would be interested in that at all but it seems you're interested in Jessica's so maybe you would be interested in mine. I think it might be fun to chronicle the transformation (and let me tell you, there was quite a transformation) between the shaggy haired lazy waiter to the soon to be lawyer. 

4. Finally - guy stuff. I know Jess doesn't have too many male readers. Understandably. She is a girl writing about girly things, but maybe I can broaden her readership. I have a love for the bulls, cubs and bears. I try (and fail most of the time) to play as many sports as possible. I also am going to attempt to home brew some beer this summer and can bring you along on that tasty drunk adventure. As well as bringing you stories of whatever man problems and (married) man adventures I get myself into. 

So that's my dream for my blogging future. Please let me know what you think and if you have any ideas for what you want me to write about!


P.S.  And also keep supporting Jess. You guys and this blog mean the world to her. Your comments make her smile like ive never seen before. This blog has given her an outlet for eveything she loves. Thank you to you guys and thank you for your support. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happy National Running Day!

Ahhh I can't even believe it's already Wednesday. 

Last Wednesday I wrote how I couldn't even imagine how different my life would be a week later & BOY was I right...

... I mean 3 days in and I knew I would still be adjusting & figuring out how to be a nanny again. I thought for sure I would be a little lost in a different state without my husband (only a little while longer, he is finishing out his job in Wisconsin) & to be honest I was really concerned about  trying to get in a groove or routine if you will...

but mainly I just feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be and doing what I am suppose to be doing. I am not sure how often you feel like that in your life so I am going to soak it all up. 

The girls I am taking care of get sweeter every day and I go home feeling exhausted, loved and like I made a difference in their little lives. It is the best! 

But I actually came here, not for an update, but to tell you the sweetest story in honor of national running day.

Last week, I was finally catching up with one of my most favorite people. Her name is Abigale and we were college roommates. 

To be blunt we couldn't be more different and initially I was so nervous to live with her BUT for some amazing reason loving each other for who we are and laughing at the same weird things has always been enough. 


Present :)

Abigale has two kids now! And unfortunately we live kind of far apart but as soon as we pick up the phone we are still just us. 

Those are THE best types of friends. 

Anyways when I started this blog she was one of the first people I trusted to read so I told her about it. I wasn't sure if she was still reading between two babies, a husband, job, and house but she must have been because the other night "frugal abigale"--- one of our differences :) ---told me she was thinking about joining a gym HOWEVER after doing her research and seeing how much it costs, she picked up running shoes instead!!! 

She talked me through how it helps her process her day and how her sweet husband sometimes bikes to catch up to her with the babes in the back and overall just how proud she is of herself for committing to it.

It sounds completely irrational but tears welled up. I admire abigale for a million and two reasons. The two main reasons being her faith and her awesome sauce family BUT here she was slightly inspired by me?!?! Which is just crazy talk. 

We have now made it a plan / a promise to race together and make a girls weekend out of it. I can't wait to actually get it on the calendar. 

So in honor of national running day tell
me someone you inspired??? Or who inspired you????

:) happy miles!