Found my Happy

  

^^Gummy bears are what make Charlee happy! ^^

Photography by Brandon John

Found my Happy Women’s tee | Found my happy toddler tee

I think your personal definition of “happy” changes when you have a baby. It did for me anyway. Instead of happiness being 100% about myself, my happiness extends into the happiness of another human being, my sweet Charlee! The things that make me happy, have quite simply, simplified. I find joy in the little things. Charlee humbles me, and the things that used to make me happy don’t really do it for me as much anymore. I guess a good example would be how much a designer bag used to make me happy. I used to save up and buy bags. They would bring me so much joy! Want to know something really funny? I have’t bought a new bag in over a year! Why not? It doesn’t make me feel as happy as it used to. Instead, I find so much joy in buying Charlee new Stride Rites, or wearing matching outfits haha!

I was so excited when Found My Happy reached out to partner. Found My Happy is a new, feel-good apparel & accessories brand that lets you live, wear & express your happy! They have apparel for the whole family and their message is to spread happiness!  “Always Happy Your Way Through Life” is the Found My Happy mantra because life is so much better when you do! How sweet is that?

They have so many cute options of matching tees including the ones we are wearing above! As a gift to you guys (because you all make me so happy!), we are offering a 20% off discount on any item on their site using the code “Let’s Jess Up.”

Make sure to head over to www.foundmyhappy.com to scoop these up! Check out my other faves below:

 Women’s Girl Power Tee  | Toddlers Girl Power Tee

 Always Happy Your Way Through Life Toddler Tee

Finally, I thought I’d share a really random list of things that make me happy:

-When I go into Charlee’s room in the morning and she smiles so big

-When you catch the subway just in time and your morning commute goes seamlessly

-Date night with my husband

-Sunny days

-Summer

-When I nail a new recipe

-Cooking for my family

-Spending time with my family and friends

-Travel

-Fresh sheets

-a bath

-Watching TV on the couch with my hubby

-A really good glass of red wine

-When Charlee randomly hugs me

-My alone time in the morning

-Drinking on a NYC rooftop

-Sweden

-Spending quality time with my Momma

-Checking everything off my to-do list

-A clean house

-That feeling you get after a really hard workout

-Coffee first thing in the morning

-Laughing with my sister and brother

-My nephew Joe

-Getting dressed up

-Friday and Saturday nights

-Giving back to those less fortunate

-My blog and all of you who read it!

-Massages or any type of self care

-SLEEP!

What makes you happy?! Leave a note in the comment section below!

 

 

My go-to mom uniform

Photography by Brandon John

Cropped sweatshirt: Joe’s Jeans Jeans: A.G. Jeans Belt: Gucci Sneakers: Golden Goose Sunglasses: From a Street fair in NYC

Hi Guys! Happy Thursday! Charlee is currently napping right now and I have a minute to write a blog post so I am taking full advantage. I must say that recently, writing posts has taken a backseat to life. I have been feeling like the older Charlee gets, the more she needs me which is weird! I never thought she could need me more than she did when she was an infant, but she does! She not only needs me physically, but she also requires a lot from me emotionally and mentally. Being a Mom is HARD and I have found that I don’t have much time to blog. It’s nice to be back and writing! I missed it 🙂

As a Mom I am CONSTANTLY running around. When I am with Charlee I try and dress comfortably but also in durable clothing as she is constantly getting dirty and then immediately touching me ha! I am always covered in stains! Any other Mommas?! I recently ordered a bunch of cropped sweatshirts to pair with high waisted jeans and jean shorts for the spring and summer. I love pairing them with a cute pair of sneakers for a casual but still cute outfit! I added some of my favorite cropped sweatshirts below:

Speaking of Motherhood, I wanted to mention that I was introduced to an amazing parenting book called 1,2,3 MAGIC by my friend Katie of the Instagram Fashion and Ford. She came over to our apartment with Ford a few weekends ago and I was shocked at how well Ford listened and would sit still for timeout if he was naughty (which was rare!). I was desperate at this point as Charlee was starting to show signs of defiance and I didn’t know how to deal! Katie told me about this book and method and it has been a game changer. I really can’t recommend it enough! Thank you Katie!!

I hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend. We are heading to NJ to spend time with family and Charlee’s cousins. Can’t wait!

xoxo-J

 

 

My F-Factor Go to’s

Photography by Shadi Garman


If you guys have been following Let’s Jess Up for a while you probably know that I am an avid F-Factor follower. If you want to read about my journey through weight loss after baby, you can check that out here. In summary, I was able to lose all the baby weight from the F-Factor program, and I have really subscribed to the lifestyle. I have never thought of myself as “on a diet” and F-factor has just become a new lifestyle for me.

So many of you have shown interest in what I eat and the foods that I always have stocked in my pantry. I figured I would put together a post sharing a list of my go-to recipes and products. If there is anything I don’t mention in this post, please leave a comment and I’ll make sure to answer!

My Pantry Must-haves:

Breakfast:

F-Factor 20/20 Belgian waffles:  I make these waffles a few times a week, and every Saturday and Sunday for the family. I LOVE these waffles and stay full for hours after. They taste delicious and I really can’t believe they are so good for you!

Healthy with Nedi’s Cheesy eggs: These are so delicious and filling.I love starting my day with this breakfast. I like to add chopped spinach and even sautéed mushrooms. The options are endless!

Low Carb everything bagel: I am so excited to have found these incredibly delicious low carb bagels. I buy them in bulk from amazon and keep them in my freezer. My favorite breakfast if I am feeling like something savory, is a toasted everything bagel covered in Greek cream cheese, sliced tomatoes and onion. These bagels have only 1.6 grams net carbs each and are DELISH!

Raw Rev Bar or No Cow Bar: During the week, I go into the office on Tuesday and Wednesdays. I always bring a Raw Rev bar or No Cow bar for breakfast on those days. They are easy to throw into my bag and have tons of fiber and protein keeping me surprisingly full until lunch.

20/20 Banana Bread: I bake this banana bread once or twice a week. Charlee and Matt both love it. I have it for breakfast or a snack.

Lunch:

Buffalo chicken GG Melts: I love making sandwiches for lunch using GG crackers. The options are really endless. Anything you would think to put on a sandwich, you can put on a GG! I love to make buffalo chicken GG melts. They are so yummy!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Take about 3 ounces of rotisserie chicken and shred it with a fork or with your hands.
  • Saute the chicken in a pan with a few tablespoons of franks red hot wings sauce. You can use as much as you want or as little. The more you use, the spicier.
  • Once the chicken is all mixed up with the hot sauce, evenly place on top of 4 gg crackers.
  • Add a few slices of red onion
  • Top with mozzarella cheese
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve with 2 TBSP of Bolthouse blue cheese dressing
  • Enjoy!

*PS:I also love to enjoy a buffalo chicken wrap using Tumaro’s low carb wraps. Use the same steps from the directions above, but instead of baking in the oven, add the ingredients into the wrap. Wrap it up in a burrito-like roll and toast in a pan until the cheese is melted. Enjoy with a side of Bolthouse blue cheese dressing.

Turkey and cheese low carb wraps: I like to have wraps for lunch. I change it up with what’s inside the wrap but one of my go-to’s is turkey, light mayo and mustard with pickles.

Turkey and cheese melts on a low carb bagel: I made this yesterday for lunch and it was SO good. I put a little light mayo, mustard, sliced turkey and pickles on the low carb bagels. Then I added a slice of cheese and popped them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. It was so good!

Turkey pepperoni pizza roll ups: I make these pizza roll ups either for lunch or my snack. They are SO easy to make. I spread pizza sauce on the low carb wraps and then add turkey pepperoni and low moisture mozzarella cheese. Then I just head them up on my griddle pan until the cheese is melted. I dip them into a tablespoon of bolthouse dressing. SO good.

 Dinner:

Pizza:  I love pizza and am so thrilled that I found a pizza crust that is guilt free. I have tried a ton of different variations of pizza recipes using these Califlour pizza crusts. One of my recent favorites is my Red Pepper, goat cheese and chicken sausage pizza. It’s SO delish you guys!

Chicken Enchiladas: I make this one a week! It’s a hit with the fam.

Low-carb and chip-less Nachos:  Nachos are a must-eat for me to be a happy human. I love this recipe because all of the nacho flavors are there without the guilt!

Salmon: I make a lot of lean protein dishes for dinners. This is one of my favorite recipes. Another way I make salmon is in parchment paper. It’s so easy! You just place your salmon in a bed of spinach in parchment paper, top it with a little olive oil spray, tomatoes, sliced onion and salt and pepper. You wrap it in the parchment paper and place it on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. I usually top it with light feta. Easy, delicious, simple and healthy!

Low-carb lasagna: Need I say more?! This recipe is insanely delicious and I make this at least once a week. It’s another crowd favorite in the Q household.

Roasted Carrots with goat cheese: I made these the other night and replaced the syrup with high fiber Sukrin syrup. It was SO good. I peeled a bunch of rainbow carrots, cut them into pieces, sprayed them with olive oil spray and salt and pepper. Then I roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Took them out of the oven, and put about a tablespoon of sukrin syrup on them. I made sure they were coated in the syrup and put them back in the oven until they were roasted. Once they were roasted, I put them all in a bowl and added a little bit of crumbled goat cheese and another little bit of the sukrin syrup. They were SO good!

I hope you all found this helpful. If I missed anything or you have any questions, please leave a message in the comments!

Xoxo-J

 

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.28.14 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.28.25 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.28.38 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.27.58 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.29.02 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.27.32 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.27.19 PM

Shot by: Brandon John & Produced by: Nathan Cates

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!! What are you thankful for?! I am thankful for so so many things and it would be tough to list them all so I’ll just stick with the big ones…my husband, my family, my friends, and those of you who follow my blog :)! It has been a dream of mine to start this blog and your support means so much to me! Ok, enough love game for today…let’s get into the styling portion of today’s post! How cute is this dress?! I had been looking for a dress just like this all season and finally found one by Ralph Lauren sold at Macy’s. There is a black Friday sale making this dress only $91!!!! The style is so simple and classy yet still elevated and fancy. I paired this dress with a basic black heel and opaque tights, red lip and a high pony! I think it is the perfect dress to wear to a family gathering like Thanksgiving or even a Holiday Party! What do you guys think?!

xoxo-J

Dress: Ralph Lauren Heels: Salvatore Ferragamo Less Expensive Option: Nine West

Charlee’s Barnyard themed 2nd Bday

 

Hi Everyone! I finally have time to post the photos from Charlee’s 2nd birthday party! I had totally anticipated getting photos of actual people at the event but we had too much fun and forgot to take a single picture as a family. Oh well! At least I have images from the party in case you are thinking of doing a Farm theme for your kiddos bday.

Before I get into the details of the bday party swag, I must shout out Jetblack for all their help with this party. I told them the theme via text and they sent over the most amazing suggestions for party favor bags and toys, straws, cups etc. I could not have gotten this all together without them. If you are interested in signing up for their services you can join the waitlist here and can use this link and code JessUp01 to get early access off the waitlist! You can read even more about Jetblack in this post. We can all be super Moms together!

Anyways, moving on to the party! We decided a while ago to have the barnyard/farm theme for Charlee’s 2nd birthday. Charlee has been obsessed with farm animals forever and we ended up taking her to a farm this summer which is when she went crazy for the farm. Every morning after she would ask about the farm, so we knew we had to throw her a farm-themed bday! I took my time planning this party because I wanted to make sure I could DIY things and research to find items at the cheapest price. I also wanted to do the flower arrangements myself. Luckily we live near the floral district so that was easy. I brought this image with me to one of the floral shops on 27th and 6th. The nicest floral designer helped me pick the flowers and then I put them together at home. It saved me hundreds! I also wanted to shout out Jam with Jamie! We had them come  and perform for 45 minutes and it was a hit with the kiddos. Charlee weirdly wasn’t into it but everyone else was hah!  In regards to the other decor etc, take a look at the list below where I have linked everything!

Tablecloths: Amazon We ordered this big pack of plastic disposable tablecloths that worked awesomely. We used these clips to keep them stable.

Balloons: We ordered all the balloons from Balloon Shop NYC

Farm Party Tablescape: Party City

Cake Topper: Etsy I originally planned on purchasing a farm-themed cake or cupcakes from a local bakery but swiftly realized that was going to cost me a pretty penny. I started searching on Etsy and found this adorable cake topper. I ordered it along with a plain vanilla frosted cake from Magnolia Bakery.

Cow Straws: Amazon

Chalkboard Pails for utensils: Party City

Tractor: Amazon How funny is this little tractor with rice crispy treats?! I saw this on Pinterest and copied the idea! Can’t get over how much that looks like hay!

Gingham Plates: Party City

Treat Bags: Jetblack recommended these from Amazon and they were so cute!!!

Treat bag insert (squishy animals): Jetblack recommended these Amazon

Treat bag insert (bubbles): These were also recommended by Jetblack. They found them on Amazon

Barn: This was one of Charlee’s bday presents, but I used it as the main feature of the tablescape.

Barnyard animals: I used these throughout the tablescapes as decoration but they were also a gift for Charlee to go with her barn!

Ice buckets: Amazon I am so glad we got these. We have used them for so many events after this! So great for outdoor parties

Kraft Paper for table: Amazon I bought this kraft paper and used it to add a little dimension to the tablescape. I love how it came out!

Barnyard confetti for tables: Etsy

Pig Out Paper sign: Etsy

I’m so happy with how everything came together! Most importantly, Charlee had the best time at her bday party. I can’t believe she is 2!!

xoxo-J

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Traditions 2018

 

Photography by Shadi Garman

On Me: Pajama Shorts: Gap Pajama Top: Gap Slippers: Amazon Socks: Walmart

On Charlee: Pajamas: Amazon Socks: Amazon

Matt’s Pajamas: Pants: Gap

Happy Holidays everyone! This is my absolute favorite time of year. Growing up, Christmas was seriously like the Olympics. My Mom outdid herself year after year! She made every type of cookie you can imagine, she decorated the entire house and just made the holiday so special. The traditions were my favorite part. We always woke up on Christmas morning and had a delicious breakfast. She made the same Christmas breakfast casserole year after year along with fresh Swedish Cinnamon Roles called bullar. We started the day opening our stockings and then opened our gifts one at a time which lasted all day long. I just love Christmas so much and I’m excited to start introducing Charlee to my favorite family traditions as well as starting some of our own!

A new tradition I wanted to start this year was to gift the family a new set of Christmas Pajamas to wear on Christmas morning. I bought all three of us Pajamas (Matt’s set not pictured but I linked it above)! I found Charlee’s pajamas on Amazon for $9! They are so nice and surprisingly nice quality for the incredible price. What are some of your most favorite family traditions? Make sure to share in the comments :)!

These pictures are so very special to me. The most incredible gift I could ever receive is the gift of love from this little girl. Sending you all an extra measure of comfort joy and love this Holiday.

 Xoxo-J

All Things Motherhood!

Photography by Shadi Garman

This picture makes me laugh so hard. This is truly an image that encapsulates the experience and whirlwind of being a Mom. You’re so deliriously happy, but also surrounded by toys that you constantly step on, your hair is in a messy bun and hasn’t been washed in too many days, and you’re exhausted. You guys, I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a Mom, but why does no one tell you how crazy hard it is?! Maybe people DID tell me how crazy motherhood is, I just couldn’t begin to comprehend how crazy since I was so used to being only concerned with myself!? Anyways, I wouldn’t change my life with my delicious girl for anything, but I want to be real and share some of my funny Motherhood thoughts and feelings in one place. This will be sort of a mish-mosh of thoughts so bare with me. I hope you all enjoy!

  1. Being a Mom is HARD. Yea, yea…you are all rolling your eyes. I mean, I knew it was going to be hard before I had my daughter, but I had no capacity of understanding JUST how hard. Being a Mom is hard physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Becoming a parent rocks you to your core. All of a sudden, after carrying this little baby you can only sort of imagine, it arrives and you are OBSESSED with them. I remember when Charlee was born, the need to care for her was immediate. I felt this overwhelming need to make sure she was OK. I checked to see if she was breathing every other minute, over-changed her diaper because I was scared about diaper rash, and basically decided in one millisecond that everything I did would now revolve around my child. Obviously, the scary terrifying experience of being a new parent has since worn off. It sometimes creeps up but I have done work in therapy to control it. (You can read more about that here) That said, no matter what, the need to care for Charlee and ensure what we do is what’s best for her will last forever!
  2. Balancing it all is impossible. I think the most common conversation I share with my Mom friends is about how to balance it all. What I have found to be the most comforting is when I am able to connect with a Mom who agrees that it’s OK to not have it all together. I feel like I am constantly behind on something. If the laundry is done, the dishes aren’t clean, etc. etc. Something is always sort of falling through the cracks. I have since learned to truly embrace the chaos and it helps! I try to not be so hard on myself.
  3. To work or not to work? Oh man, I struggled with this. I thought for sure I wanted to go back to work full time after having my daughter. Well guess what, I did…and it was SO HARD. I constantly felt like I was falling short in the work department and in the Mom department, and I was just stretched too thin. I now work part-time and I feel like it’s the best situation for me and the family. I think no matter what you have to give up something as a parent. Whether you work full time or not! It’s so hard to make these choices but no matter what choice you make, as long as it is right for your family, it’s the right choice.
  4. Nothing stays nice for very long. That sweater I bought yesterday…it already has an avocado smear stain on the sleeve from Charlee grabbing me. As much as I have had to embrace the chaos, I have also had to embrace the mess! We don’t buy expensive furniture or fancy things that we don’t want anyone touching because guess what, CHARLEE TOUCHES EVERYTHING! I found her dipping her bear in the toilet yesterday when I turned my back for one second. It’s crazy guys!
  5. I will never have enough space. For. everything. This may be a New Yorker thing, but I am always running out of room to house things. I am also the kind of person that needs every thing to have a home or else it doesn’t get put away. I have systems set in place for myself because I am naturally not a neat person. It takes a lot of effort on my part. My home is neat, but it ain’t easy!! Having a child you accumulate so many things. I am also super sentimental and find myself wanting to keep little outfits, shoes, art projects etc. and sadly there just isn’t enough room for it all.
  6. Mom friends are my heroes. Since college, I have had a super tight knit group of girlfriends. They are amazing and supportive and wonderful. Some are from college and some are from my time in NY but they are all amazing. The only thing is that a lot of my close girlfriends aren’t mothers yet. In order to not overwhelm them with baby stuff that they simply don’t understand and probably don’t care to hear about, I developed a separate group of Mom friends. These women and I may or may not have been friends if we had met without the connection of having a child, and some have been friends and found an even closer bond because of motherhood! All of that said, my Mom friends have become my lifeline! Mom friends are there 100% and understand what the crazy looks like because they are living it too. I can go to my Mom friends for advice on what car seat to buy or to just vent about how I smeared poop on my forehead and didn’t realize until 30 minutes later after trying to find where the smell was coming from…not that that happened or anything lol!
  7. I miss my spouse. Don’t get me wrong, I see my husband every day after work and we have date night every weekend. That said, there are moments I really miss him even when we are together! Things naturally become centered around your child and it’s important to take time for each other and be present together.  There are moments I look fondly back on the time when it was just the two of us if I am being perfectly honest. Not that I would change our life for the world! It’s just that the dynamic changed, and it is much more of an effort to be present with only each other. That’s why we try and plan at least a date night a week and a weekend away just us every 6 months. It really helps!
  8. I never knew a love like this-You guys…I love my Charlee so much. It’s honestly impossible to put into words. She is the best part of my every day and the love I feel for her transcends to the stars. I didn’t know just how much I couldn’t live my life without her! How did we not know what we were missing before she came into our family? Becoming parents is amazing and the love you have for these kiddos makes all the insanity worth it. I also love being a family of three. There is nothing more incredible than spending time together.

I hope you guys enjoyed my random thoughts today! I would love to hear some of your thoughts on Motherhood in the comments!

xoxo-J

 

A Fall Look & 10 random thoughts

Hat: Nine West Sweater: Intermix Coat: Blank NYC Jeans: DL1961  Boots: Marc Fisher Bag: Celine Dion

Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping by. I wore this casual and cozy look on Monday afternoon when it all of a sudden decided to become WINTER overnight! I was kind of annoyed, but made happier when I had the chance to don this  gorgeous cashmere sweater! It comes with extra long sleeves with thumb holes which weirdly makes me very happy haha!

This week has been a busy one already and I have some random things on my mind I thought I’d share with you guys!

  1. Have you guys tried these Raw Rev bars? I eat one almost every morning during the week for breakfast. They keep me satisfied and full before lunch and have only 3-4 grams of net carbs depending on the flavor.
  2. Last month’s book club book was called What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. I thought I’d share if any of you are looking for a new book to read. I really enjoyed this book and think it may be one of my favorite books we have read as a book club! We are reading The Hate You Give this month and it’s good so far, but tough to stomach at times.
  3. I just discovered these little cookies for babies and Charlee can’t get enough.
  4. I would like to just offer a major shout out to the creators of Little Baby Bum on Netflix. I would never have a moment to do the dishes, let alone go to the bathroom without this show. Charlee is obsessed!
  5. I can’t wait to see the new movie A Star is Born! Matt and I always joke that we are so excited to see a new movie….as soon as it comes out on VIDEO! ;)! We love the movies but the idea of hiring a sitter to go sit in a room to watch a new movie we could watch at home for half the price in a few months, just doesn’t make sense to us. Anyone else feel that way?!
  6. One of my favorite bloggers I really enjoy following is Brooklyn Blonde. I discovered her a few months ago and I love her content. Her little boy is also super adorable!
  7. One of my biggest pet peeves is unloading the dishwasher. I seriously hate it so much haha. I don’t know why but it’s my least favorite thing to do chores-wise. Anyone interested in coming over every morning and unloading my dishwasher?!! 😉
  8. This is so random, but I sleep with ear plugs and an eye mask every night because I am such a light sleeper. I actually became an even lighter sleeper since I had Charlee. I can hear her cry out in the night even with the earplugs, don’t worry!
  9. Charlee will be 15 months in early November and I have to say this toddler stage is TOUGH. Charlee has found her voice and makes it very clear when she isn’t a fan of her current situation, if you know what I mean! I’d love to hear any advice about tantrums for babies at this age.
  10. I just discovered the artist Jess Glynne on Spotify and LOVE her music. It’s great for working out or getting me in a good mood 🙂

Ok! I hope you guys enjoyed the round up of random thoughts. Have a great rest of your week everyone!

xoxo,

Jess

Let’s Jess UP and travel to Hudson, NY!

Hi Friends! I am excited to introduce a new series I am introducing on the blog, called #JessUPandtravel. Matt and I love to travel and a request I get a lot from my followers is to recap our trips with recommendations, so hence the start of this series! I hope you all enjoy!

One of my favorite trips we have taken as a family this year has been our recent trip to Hudson, NY. We had the BEST time and I wanted to share a few tips and info about the area in case any of you are inspired to head that way for a vacation!

Before I get started, have you guys seen the Netflix show “Stay Here”?! Well, a month or so ago Matt and I binge watched the whole first season and fell in love with the carriage house they renovated in Hudson, NY! After a quick google search we found the listing and booked it for this weekend. Let me tell you, this place did not disappoint! It was super spacious, beautifully decorated, and the location was perfect. It sits right in the center of town so we didn’t have to worry about driving anywhere. Here is the listing in case you guys want to book it one day!

Our latest trip to Hudson will be the 3rd time in the past two years that Matt and I have visited. We just love it up there. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive north from Manhattan. Check out some details and travel tips about the area below:

Where to stay?

  • Airb&b has a TON of listings in Hudson and the surrounding areas.
  • Bed and Breakfasts: There are a number of charming small bed and breakfasts in the area. Most of them are close to the center of town! We stayed at the Croff House a few years ago and we absolutely loved it. Cozy rooms and delicious meals served by the owner. highly recommend.
  • The Rivertown Lodge-this boutique hotel is new to the area! We haven’t stayed there, but we went to grab drinks this past weekend with Charlee in their lobby and were blown away. We are going to try and stay at this hotel the next time we head to Hudson.

Where to eat?

  • There are so many awesome restaurants to try! Here are some that we recommend:
  • Grocery Stores
    • Olde Hudson-This grocery store is in the middle of town and has all your basics for a weekend away. They have dairy and produce from local farms. Farm to table at its best.
  • Local Farms
    • We decided to stay in on Saturday night and cook dinner. We went to a few local farms to gather ingredients and one of the places we went was the Hawthorn Valley Farm Store. This is an INCREDIBLE grocery store on the grounds of a farm. We got most of our produce and side dishes for dinner here. We also picked up some yummy homemade baked goods.
    • We also stopped at another local farm called Kinderhook for fresh meat. We picked up steaks for dinner as well as sausage for breakfast on Sunday morning. They also had a ton of chickens on the property which Charlee loved chasing :).

What to do?

  • Apple Orchards- We went to Fix Brother’s Farm and had a wonderful time. The apples were among the most delicious I have ever tasted and it was only .15 cents an apple to pick. Charlee actually learned to say “Apple” at the orchard!
  • Wine Tasting: We had no idea how amazing the wine valley was up in Hudson. We went to Hudson-Chatham Winery and we were truly blown away by not only the service but the quality of the wines. Here is a full guide to the wineries in the area.
  • Antique shopping! Hudson has about a million incredible antique shops in the area. There’s at least one on each block!

I hope you all enjoyed this travel guide! Let me know if you make it out to Hudson!

Happy Fall Y’all!!!

POLKA DOTS + 5 WAYS I’VE CHANGED SINCE BECOMING CHARLEE’S MOMMA

Photography by Shadi Garman

Dress: Asos Heels: INC Brand Purse: Mansur Gavriel Earrings: Nordstrom Rack

Happy Thursday everyone! I can’t believe we are already to Thursday! This week has FLOWN by and I love it! It means we are one day closer to our trip to the Bahamas! Matt and I decided to take our first trip away without baby the first week of May and I am super excited. I am also totally dreading being away from Charlee for 4 days but I know it will be super special and a wonderful and much deserved trip for Matt and I.

How amazing is this dress?! I saw it online and just had to have it. It has everything I look for in a dress! Statement sleeves, flutter skirt, open back, and polka dots! On top of all that, it’s under $100 so it’s a win win in my book ;)!

I have been wanting to write a post about how I have changed since having my daughter for a while but didn’t know how to set it all up, so I figured i’d include it in an outfit post!I have been holding out because I felt that I needed more time to really reflect on what exactly has changed for me since having Charlee. If I were to be honest, I feel like absolutely everything in my life has changed in some way or another due to having Charlee. My relationships have changed, my lifestyle has changed, my body has changed…you name it and it’s changed!! Sometimes it can be overwhelming how much change really occurs after bringing a new life into this world! I think we have no idea what we are really getting into until after the babies arrive! I wouldn’t have it any other way and I know I have changed for the better, but I figured I would share the most impactful personal changes that have shifted since having her.

  1. I am more sensitive: Now this may come as a shock for those of you who know me personally because even before becoming a Mom, I was SUPER sensitive. I have always had a tender heart and felt empathy very easily. Now that I am a Mom it’s totally different though. My sensitivity runs DEEP you guys. Some days I can barely get through a sappy commercial without crying haha! No but really, I am super sensitive to the needs of my daughter after becoming her Mother. I feel such conviction in making sure she is happy and taken care of. I am sensitive to her needs and what is best for her. If she is having a tough moment, I always try and take a step back and realize that this isn’t her fault and my poor baby is just going through the motions. This helps me from getting frustrated in the hard times because I remember that Charlee is just doing her best! I am sensitive to other Mothers around me and have found almost a kinship with strangers. I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I see another Mom on the subway, walking down the street, or in the grocery store, I find myself feeling like I know her somehow. Is that weird?! Who knows! I guess I just feel a deeper sensitivity and I am more aware of it now.
  2. It’s OK to say No: This has been a hard one for me, and even to this day I struggle with saying “No.” I am a people pleaser, and I have been my whole life. I always want to make sure everyone around me is happy and content. I hate inconveniencing others and before baby would go out of my way to accommodate them even if it was an inconvenience to me. Well, after having a baby, that doesn’t really work! My baby and her needs come first, so oftentimes I find myself saying “No” to things. Surprisingly, people are WAY more understanding when I say “No” to things. I used to think I had to really explain myself, but through postpartum therapy I learned that no explanation is ever really necessary. Just saying, “Unfortunately, that’s not going to work for us” is enough! Most of the time, whomever you are saying “No” to is like, “Ok cool, we can figure something else then!” and it seems silly that I felt weird saying “No” in the first place!
  3. My best is enough: There are times that I feel very overwhelmed. There are days where I don’t feel like I am the best Mom, friend, colleague or wife and I can beat myself up about it. In those moments I try to remind myself that I am doing my best and that is enough. Unfortunately it’s impossible to actually do everything 100%, so I have been practicing forgiveness and letting myself do my best without judgement (Easier said than done!). I truly believe as long as I am doing the best that I can, it’s enough.
  4. I care less about what other people think! This is a big one. I honestly, really don’t give a %^^&^ about what other people think. I have a new found confidence after giving birth. It completely changed my perspective. Social media is a funny thing and people are very open to sharing their opinions about me and my child! You would be surprised some of the comments I have received! What’s kind of nuts is that because I know the kind of Mother, friend and person that I am, I really don’t care what others think of me. I know that I am doing my best and I don’t need anyone else to validate that.
  5. My husband is even more important to me. I fell deeply in love with my husband immediately after I met him, but somehow have fallen even a little bit more in love with him every day since. When you have a child together, it really changes your dynamic. I find that I need Matt a little bit more than before we had Charlee. We are a family now, and we have a great team and system that works for us. I really can’t imagine life without him. He is the father of my baby girl, and is pretty much her favorite person. I have a need for him that runs deeper than before now that we have our baby girl. It’s pretty amazing and I feel so lucky to have him as my Husband.

I hope you guys have a wonderful Thursday and a beautiful weekend!

xoxo-J