Empowering Everyday Women/ Vanity Fair

I'm sure all women have heard of Vanity Fair®, it's one of those amazing companies that have been around for years. And when I say years, I mean more … [Continue Reading]

Fill Me In Friday… Hair Routine, Tips and Tricks

I'm here with another round of Fill Me In Friday, and today I'm talking about my hair routine and a few tips and tricks I have. I posted about this … [Continue Reading]

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number matching fun

Last time I did a Fill Me In Friday about teaching BK, I said I would try and put some resources on the blog. Well, I've dropped the ball on the … [Continue Reading]


the perfect planner, for me

First, let me start by clarifying a few things. These are solely my opinions based on using both of these planners for an extended period of time (not … [Continue Reading]


Labor Day catch-up!

I have an extra set of hands around here today, so I'm actual going to try to get a blog post for each day this week. Lately, I can only make it to … [Continue Reading]


back to school

On Monday night, we went to meet BK’s new teacher. She was a little sad at first when I told her she wouldn’t have the same teacher, but thankfully, she warmed right up to her new teacher and was telling us how excited she was before bed. I’m so impressed with her personality, she thrives in new situations rather than shying away from them. She’s not afraid to go and meet new people, to introduce herself or to make new friends. We love that side of her personality and I think Allen and I both wish we had a little more of that in us.

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Sidenote: I had my wisdom teeth taken out Thursday and I was actually worried that I would miss “meet the teacher” or the first day of school. Thankfully, it was a fairly quick process and I was ready to get out of the house Monday night. Another note, don’t delay having your wisdom teeth removed they might need to be removed at the most inopportune time. We’re all just thankful it’s over and done!

Yesterday morning, she didn’t want to get out of bed. Isn’t that crazy how that seems to work? If I needed her to sleep-in she would have been up before me. We snapped a quick picture and we were on our way.

bk first day

BK has been going to the same MDO program for three years now, just two days a week for a little more interaction with children her age. While I worked, she stayed home with my Nanny who would come to our house everyday. On the days BK had school, Allen would go in late and Nanny would pick her up and bring her home. Teachers don’t have much flexibility in their schedule. Yesterday, I was reminded just how thankful I am for this season, no matter how crazy our days get, no matter how many times Jud refuses to nap, or BK refuses to listen, I am blessed to be able to spend my days with them. After working and being away for the first few years, it’s something I refuse to take for granted now.

So when BK came home, we baked cookies and had a little time together while Jud talked to his toys in his swing and watched his big sister.


It was a great first day, indeed!

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whole 30 results and FAQ’s

I finished up Whole 30 last week and I’m currently on day 2 of 20 before vacation. I debated whether to even call it Whole 30 anymore, because I think this is going to pretty much be a lifestyle change for me. I’ll probably follow the 85-15 rule and splurge at times, but I want my main method of eating to be aligned with Whole 30. Either way, I’m going to be strict and not cheat for the next 20 days before we go to the beach. I’m incredibly close to fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes and two weeks of eating right will save me money when it comes to purchasing new clothes for vacation.

Let’s get right to the results. I finished up Whole 30 last Thursday and weighed in for a final time on Friday morning. Just so you know, I gained a whopping 47 pounds with Judson. I lost 20 pounds fairly quickly within the first few weeks. At the end of Whole 30 I had lost another 14 pounds. That leaves me with about 13 pounds of pregnancy weight left. I was definitely pleased with the results as far as weight loss goes, but I am also pleased with how my energy increased, my skin looks better, and I feel better all around.

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I can’t wait to see the changes the next 20 days brings.

I also want to take some time to answer a few questions I get asked about Whole 30. I’m by no means an expert, but I’m pretty proud of the fact that I actually stuck to a diet for more than 24 hours.

Did you workout too? Yes. I have a treadmill, weights and a mat in the garage and a membership to Pure Barre. Honestly, it’s really hard for me to go to Pure Barre these days because it takes about 2 hours out of my day. I absolutely love Pure Barre, I think it’s the best workout, hands down. But, two hours is a lot of time with two kiddo’s and no child care on site. Lately, I’ve been spending about 40 minutes on the treadmill and doing a quick ab, leg and arm workout. Just a mixture of squats, sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, and planks.

What can I eat on Whole 30? I printed this list and left it on our refrigerator, it’s a great resource. I’m documenting all of my meals this week and I’ll give you a detailed post about what I eat next week.

How do you not get bored with food choices? The honest answer is I do get bored. Sometimes the thought of another egg makes me want to gag. But, it always passes and I just choose something else until it does. The biggest advice I can give here is to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Try new things, think outside the box, make a batch of Chia seed pudding, grab a Lara bar.

What happens when the 30 days is over? Ideally, you would continue to eat Whole 30′ish with a few indulgences. I think it’s different for everyone and you have to find your own balance. For me, I’ll just have to evaluate whether or not a splurge is really worth it, and keep a good check on my eating so I don’t fall back into old habits. And if I do fall back into old habits the program recommends do a reset, maybe a Whole 7 or Whole 14. I promise that once you see how good your body can feel, you aren’t going to want to eat the same things you were eating before.

Aren’t you going to gain your weight back? Obviously, I could gain my weight back if I choose to eat the things that caused me to gain the weight in the first place. Ideally, the answer is no. This isn’t like a juice cleanse where you’re going to pack on the weight because your body is in some type of starvation mode, but eating the things that made you unhealthy will cause you to gain weight.

What did the rest of your family eat? I only cooked one dinner each night. Sometimes I supplemented Braylen’s dinner with other fruits and vegetables that I know she likes. For example, we had artichokes one night and she wasn’t a fan so I gave her a handful of raw carrots (that’s her favorite) in place of the artichoke. We did make a rule that she has to at least try new things that we’re eating. Sometimes she liked them, we discovered that she loves spaghetti squash, and sometimes she wasn’t a fan. Allen always ate the same dinner as me, he stuck to the program about 50 percent of the time (maybe a little more) and he ended up losing a good bit of weight, too.

What did you use for salad dressing? I found a great recipe for Orange Poppyseed Dressing (I didn’t use shallots) that I used during Whole 30.

Did this affect your milk supply? I’ve had mixed reviews from people who seem to think Whole 30 might have a negative impact on feeding baby Jud. Rest assured, he’s still exclusively nursing and we haven’t had any problems. In my head, I never thought we would run into any issues. Whole 30 allows you to eat as much good proteins, fruits, and vegetables as you want. Along with good fats, nuts, and eggs. I’m definitely eating more food now and it’s better food. I honestly think the impact would be positive because I’m eating so much better.

Where do you get recipes? Pinterest and Instagram! There are so many fantastic Instagram users that post yummy recipes. Just search #whole30, #whole30recipes, I even have a few under my hashtag #jenngdoeswhole30

I also want to share a few resources from around the web, the Whole 30 site is fantastic and full of free resources.

Grocery List

Meal Planning Template

Step-by-step Rules

And you can follow along with a few of my favorite bloggers who are also on a Whole 30 journey, AP and Heather have blog posts up today, too!

Judson is 4 months old!


We are having so much fun watching you grow and learn new things. I told your dad the other day, it’s impossible for me to look at you and not smile. You’re always beaming a big, beautiful smile anytime someone looks your way and talks to you (except if you’re hungry, then you want to eat right then).


This time around, times seems to be flying by, but we’re doing our best to soak up each and every fun stage with you. You still adore your big sister, your face lights up when you spot her or hear her voice. She’ll sit and play with you and tell you stories and I think it’s your favorite part of the day.


I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that you’re four months old already. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun, and you are so much fun!


At four months:
  • Eating- you eat every 3 hours during the day.
  • You are on a very consistent schedule thanks to Moms on Call! You take two good naps during the day, and two shorter naps, and you sleep from 8:00-7:00. I had forgot how nice a full nights sleep was, but I am much more refreshed these days.
  • You started sleeping in your crib, with the sound machine on.
  • You love to be rocked and held, but you’ll go to sleep on your own in your crib.


  • You’re consistently rolling over from your tummy (I think you love being able to get out of tummy time) and you’ve rolled from your tummy to your back a few times.
  • You still love bath time.
  • You love to be moving. You’re still a big fan of the mamaroo and your swing. You cry so hard when we put you in your car seat, until we pick you up and put you in the car. You’re content as long as there is movement.
  • You love your kick and play, you can grab your toys and pull them to your mouth now. You want to chew or suck on everything, including your fists.


  • You’re still exclusively nursing, and you’re reflux is getting better.
  • You’ll take your paci if you’re really tired.
  • You love to be talked to, you’re content to sit and coo and make noises at anyone who stops and says “hi” to you. It’s not hard to get you to smile or laugh.
  • You’re pretty ticklish and you love to giggle. It’s the sweetest sound.
  • You weigh a little over 15 pounds.
  • You wear a size 2 diaper (but not for long) and 6month clothes.

Here’s a look back at the past 4 months!

jud 4 months

And a comparison shot of BK and Jud at 4 months:


Fill Me In Friday… Teaching Braylen

Each Friday, I’m going to be answering some of your questions from the post I did earlier and giving you a little more insight into how we do things around here. One of the most common questions that came from that posts was about teaching Braylen.


Braylen has a really good memory, and she picks up on things really quickly. I saw that she was learning her alphabet and numbers using the Melissa and Doug puzzles early on and then using that knowledge and recognizing them elsewhere. She would point out letters at the grocery store or numbers on a road sign.

As a teacher, I’m always just waiting for that moment when I can unlock a little potential and turn things into a teachable moment, I don’t think learning can be forced. And I think children learn well through hands-on exploration and they learn best at their own pace, especially at her age. So when I saw her natural learning progression I began to capitalize on little teachable moments throughout the day.

Which brings me to a couple of points I want to make about teaching children:

Incorporate learning naturally- Don’t expect them to do more than they can, don’t pressure them and make them dislike learning. For example, if Braylen wanted to show me the letter “A” in the grocery store, I would make a big deal about it and ask her to show me another one if she saw one. I never sat her down at 18 months old and structured her learning time to include specific alphabet puzzles, but when she naturally chose those puzzles, I was sure to point out the letters and talk with her while she played. Equip your child with the tools to learn, but let it come natural.

Make it fun- Plan fun activities, use manipulatives, meet your child on their level. Make learning fun for them, this is the time to instill a love for learning that can last a lifetime. Don’t structure it in a way that is beyond their level of attentiveness or boring to them.

Now that she’s older and has a great foundation, we’re really capitalizing. Right now, she’s a big fan of spelling words and trying to figure out words in books. I’m just guiding her with a little phonics help and waiting for the right time to teach her more about blending words. She also loves math problems so we use a variety of manipulatives to help her figure them out on her own.

Here are some recent favorites at her house:

teach preschoolers

Meet the Sight Words DVD’s Meet the Sight Words Flashcards/Meet the Sight Words Books/Math Manipulatives Set/Math Flash Cards

It’s really impossible to cover it all in one post. Because I absolutely love this topic and because I’m going to need a little creative outlet in the coming weeks since I packed up my classroom this year, I’ll make some printable teaching sets like I’ve been using with Braylen for you guys and give you some posts on how we use them.


Whole 30: Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning

Yesterday marked day 21 of Whole 30. It’s crazy to me that I’ve made it this far and only have nine more days to go. Although, truth be told, my plan is to stick with it until we go on vacation next month. Which maybe makes me a little crazy. Here’s the thing, at this point I still have tons of energy, but serious food boredom has set in, I’m over eggs and sweet potatoes, and I feel exactly like this timeline says I should feel on day 21. Like every other crazy feeling on this diet, I keep thinking this will pass soon.

In the past 21 days we’ve been to 3 birthday parties, a gender reveal party, 3 cookouts, and one family gathering at my house. I’ve passed up my favorite cake, my favorite pie, and a coconut cake that I did snag the recipe for, because I know I’m going to want to try it one day. Here’s the thing, it gets easier each and every time I have to turn down an old favorite. I promise, if you’re in the first week, it does get better!

Today I wanted to share with you our grocery list for this week and our dinner plan. Because I’ve been on the diet 21 days now, we have most of the spices and oils that we need, so you’ll want to double check your pantry against my grocery list to ensure you have all the necessary spices.

whole 30 grocery list

I’d definitely say our grocery haul looks much different lately. We purchase organic when it’s available. Our choices are limited unless I want to drive to the nearest Whole Foods or Fresh Market (which we’ve been doing), but we couldn’t fit it in this weekend.

Here’s what our dinner will look like using those groceries:

Monday- Pesto Chicken and Spaghetti Squash

Tuesday- Chicken Soup

Wednesday- Burgers with Grilled Veggies and Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday- Breakfast for dinner with homemade breakfast sausage (along with eggs, fruit, and sweet potatoes)

Friday- Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti with homemade sauce

Saturday- Roast with carrots and I add red potatoes

I use the rest of the things for breakfast and lunch throughout the week. Basically, I try to eat leftovers for lunch and I come up with something for breakfast each morning. I’ve been eating chia seed pudding to get over my egg slump. Here’s my favorite way to make it:

Tropical Chia Seed Pudding

1/3 cup Chia seeds

1 cups pineapple

1 can coconut milk

1 banana

Blend pineapple, coconut milk, and banana until smooth. Pour into a bowl (with a lid because you’ll be storing this in the refrigerator) and add Chia seeds. Mix well and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Top with fresh fruit!

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