Hair swag: The new go-to accessory

Photography by Shadi Garman

Hair accessories are all the rage right now. From oversized fabric headbands, to dainty hair clips like the one I am wearing in the photos above, the hair accessory is the new IT accessory.

I recently got a hair makeover and weirdly having short hair makes it easier to style and use accessories! I wanted to share some of my favorite hair accessories for you guys to shop in case you want to try this trend for yourself!

 

 

 

Water that curbs your hunger!

 

Photography by Brandon John

Wanu Water: C/O

No, the title of this blog post is not a typo! I have actually discovered a water that curbs my hunger!!! I feel like I am sharing some undiscovered secret but if you have tried Wanu Water then you’re in the know!! As many of you know, I am a devoted F-factor follower, where fiber is the secret to my weight loss after baby. Wanu Water bottles contain 6 GRAMS OF FIBER in every bottle and only 2g net carbs, which is the secret behind curbing your hunger. Their water is nutrient infused and flavored and they are the first to market with 10 essential nutrients in every bottle. They contain no sugar (are lightly sweetened with a monkfruit-stevia blend) and are officially #FFactorApproved by Tanya (the founder of F-factor.)

When the team at Wanu Water reached out to me to see if I wanted to try their product, I was super skeptical. I mean, a water that curbs hunger sounds like a joke! What I can honestly say though, is that this water really does what it says! I drink Wanu all throughout my day and at different times. My favorite time to drink Wanu is before my morning workouts. I used to wake up super hungry in the morning but I don’t like to eat before a workout, so this made the hour between Charlee waking up and day care drop off tough. Wanu helps keep me from feeling super hungry at this time and also gets me hydrated for my workout! I also love to drink wanu in the afternoon in between meals. This keeps me on track and keeps me from snacking on foods that aren’t good for me. You can use wanu in your shakes too! The options are endless!

As a special offer to my blog readers, we wanted to share a discount code to order your very own package of  wanu from wanuwater.com . Us the code: JESS24 to save 24% off your order at wanuwater.com. Valid today through Friday 3/1! Make sure to stock up!

xoxo-J

*This post was published in partnership with Wanu Water. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

 

Mediterranean baked salmon with spinach, red onion, tomatoes and feta cheese!

I have never been a huge fan of fish. I honestly never ordered it when I was out to dinner and rarely made it as a dinner at home. That all changed when I started the F-factor diet. I knew that fish was a great lean protein option and I set out to challenge myself to come up with some delicious fish entrees. I started looking up recipes and came across a few recipes that called for salmon to bake in parchment. I figured I’d try to cook my salmon this way and added a few different veggies etc. until I got this just right. This salmon dish is THE EASIEST dish I cook and absolutely delicious. Everything is thrown into the same piece of parchment paper and cooked all together. All you have to do is remove from the paper and serve! Keep in mind, this recipe makes two servings, but just add an extra 2 servings etc. if serving more than two people. Also, I have used this recipe with other types of fish as well, including halibut and cod! It tastes just as delicious! I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Parchment paper
  • 2 fresh salmon filets. I purchase my salmon from Trader Joe’s.
  • Olive Oil spray
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes (however many you want…I usually add 5 per filet)
  • Sliced red onion (about 1/4 of a red onion)
  • salt and peper
  • crumbled feta cheese
Directions:
  • Take a piece of parchment paper and fold it in half. On one half of the paper, spray the olive oil baking spray so that it covers the entire half of the parchment paper. Repeat this step for however many pieces of salmon you will be serving
  • Place a handful of spinach on top of the parchment paper and olive oil spray
  • Top the spinach with the salmon, skin down
  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper
  • Top the salmon with the sliced red onion and cherry tomatoes. You can place them on top or around the salmon.
  • Cover the salmon with the other side of the parchment paper. Make sure it is wrapped up and closed so no air gets in
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20- 30 minutes. This depends on how you like your salmon cooked. I prefer mine well done and tend to bake for 30 minutes
  • Take the salmon out of the oven and scoop onto a plate
  • Top the salmon with crumbled feta cheese
  • ENJOY!

Xoxo-J

A denim jumpsuit and 9 things.

 

Photography by Brandon John

Jumpsuit: Mango Coat: Club Monaco Turtleneck: Express Shoes: Zara (old) similar here Hat: Mango also love this option Earrings: Mango

Hi! I bought this jumpsuit a few weeks ago and I am so happy I did. What a fun piece to have in my closet! I love that it’s super versatile. I paired it with a turtleneck here, but can’t wait to wear it this spring unbuttoned and with some cute wedges.

Here’s a few random things that have been on my min lately that I wanted to share:

  1. We just watched Generation Wealth on Amazon prime TV last night. It was so good but also very disturbing.
  2. I can’t wait until the weather is nicer. I love NYC but this is my least favorite time of year. Winter always lasts too long.
  3. I made these F-factor red velvet cupcakes this week and they did not disappoint!
  4. I bought Charlee a bunch of new clothes from Amazon last week. Her new big girl class at daycare doesn’t allow for onesies, so I had to buy tees and some new leggings. I was super impressed with the quality, not to mention the great price! These leggings are 5 for $25 and these tees are on sale for $22! 
  5. So many of you have asked about the hat I am wearing in this photo. This specific one is sold out, but the same hat in another color is available.  I just bought it lol!
  6. I may be late to the party, but I just discovered Alo Yoga. I ordered this yoga top and these leggings.  Best quality ever. I highly recommend this brand!
  7. I recently partnered up with a brand called Wanu Water. Each bottle has 6 grams of fiber in it and only 2 grams net carbs. The water keeps you hydrated AND full. I have been drinking the water before my workouts in the morning because I don’t like to eat before I work out. The water keeps me hydrated and takes away that feeling of hunger. I am obsessed!
  8. This weekend is a long weekend (President’s Day) and we are staying in the city and relaxing. Matt and I really love to stay in the city on holiday weekends. It’s much quieter and chill.
  9. We are heading down to NC next weekend to visit my family. I am so excited to see everyone, especially my little nephew :). He is getting so big!!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

xoxo-J

My Daily Routine-Thursday

       Photography by Shadi Garman

I thought it would be fun to share my typical Thursday routine with you guys. I juggle a few different jobs, I am a Mom, a blogger, a stylist and a non-profit fundraising consultant. I devote specific time and days to each of these projects but thought i’d share my typical Thursday schedule in case you’re curious.

6:25 A.M: Alarm goes off, I snooze a bit but i’m out of bed by 6:30 A.M. If I don’t plan on working out that morning, I’ll hop in the shower and get ready for the day. Today is Thursday and I am working from home, so instead of getting showered and ready, I put on workout clothes. I plan on working out this morning. I like to wake up before Charlee so I am less all over the place trying to get everything done before day care drop off. It’s also the only time I really have for myself and I cherish it!

7:00 A.M: Charlee wakes up! Charlee wakes up anytime between 7 and 8 A.M. It truly depends on the day. If she ever wakes up before 7 (which rarely happens), I make her chill in her crib until 7. She’s really good about that and will play with her stuffed animals. When Charlee wakes up, I get her dressed and ready for the day, then she gets a bottle of milk (4 ounces).

7:00 A.M-7:55 A.M: I spend the hour of 7-8 finishing getting dressed and the house together. I like to make the bed, unload the dishwasher from the night before and do a load of laundry. Charlee is at an age where she isn’t into things as much so she kind of follows me around throughout the house :). I like to have her “help” me by unloading the dishwasher together etc. It’s so cute! I feel way more centered and less stressed when my house is clean and I like to start the day with a clean slate so to speak. During this time I also give Charlee a snack (she eats breakfast with her class at daycare) and get her all set for school.

7:55 A.M. Walk Charlee to daycare. We are lucky enough that Charlee’s daycare is in our building, so I don’t have to commute far. Charlee and I walk from our apartment, downstairs, outside and around the corner to her daycare for drop off at 8:00 A.M.

8:15 A.M. Back home and time to work out. I like to work out first thing in the morning if I can. I find that it sets my intention for the day. On Thursdays I work from home from 9-2, so I do a 25-35 min workout when I get back from daycare drop off. I like Melissa Wood Health and Dancebody. I switch off between those two at-home workouts.

8:45 A.M. Shower and get ready for the day.

9:00 A.M. Get to work! I work part-time for a non-profit consultancy and crowdfunding website called Charidy. I work Monday-Thursday 9-2. I work from home Mondays and Thursdays and I am in the office in Brooklyn on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I am off Fridays and devote that day to my styling business and blog. I LOVE my job with Charidy and find such joy and meaning working with non-profits. My day consists of speaking with directors of non-profits and sharing with them how we could potentially partner on fundraising campaigns. I deal with all negotiations, contracting, and strategizing for potential and inbound clientele. I also work with the marketing team and support their strategy and overall efforts. Every day is different!

2:00 P.M. I am done with work for the day! I pick Charlee up from daycare at 3:00 P.M. so this hour is spent however I need it. On Thursdays I usually schedule a quick blog shoot from 2-3 (that’s what I am doing today). Sometimes I will run an errand or get my nails done. I also use this time to write blog posts or work on the blog in some capacity.

3:00 P.M. Pick up Charlee from daycare!

3:00-5:00 P.M: Hang with Charlee! This time of day varies each week. Most of the time I set up a playdate with a friend of Charlee’s from school, or we will head outside to the park for an hour or so if the weather is nice. I like to prep for dinner during this time and finish up any necessary tasks that I wasn’t able to tend to during the beginning of my day. I like to take some time to really play with Charlee. There’s always something to get done, but this is our special time so I do my best to be present with her in the afternoons :).

5:00P.M.: I feed Charlee dinner at 5:00 P.M. Eventually I’d love to all sit down to eat together, but Charlee goes to bed at 7:00P.M., making this hard to do at the moment.

5:30: Matt gets home! Matt likes to have some special time with Charlee so every day when he gets home, he takes her into our bedroom to play with her and change out of his suit after work. I always hear giggles from the room as they play “chase” and jump on the bed. It’s so cute.

6:00-7:00P.M: This time is a busy time for us! It’s wind down time, bath time, bottle time and then 7:00 P.M. is sleepy time for Miss Charlee Q. Matt and I split the parenting and tag team it. Some nights he will do the bath and I’ll do book and bedtime, and then other nights we flip flop. Either way, the schedule stays the same for Charlee.

7:00P.M: Matt will go downstairs to workout at the gym in our building once Charlee goes to sleep. During this time I prepare dinner for us. If you follow me on Instagram you know this and see my step-by-step videos 🙂

7:45 P.M: Eat dinner!

8:00 P.M-9:30 P.M: Work on the blog! I have very busy days and also have a part-time job so I work on the blog during this time. Matt and I sit on the couch and put on Netflix and I work on my blog as well as my styling business. It varies week to week.

9:30 P.M: Stop working and relax! I am someone who has a tough time relaxing but I force myself to stop working at 9:30 no matter where I am on a project. This keeps me from burning out.

10:30-11:00P.M. ish: Go to bed!! Matt and I try and go to sleep before 11. I like to get at least 7 hours.

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you all liked it, I will continue and share more day routines throughout the week!

xoxo-J

 

 

Free Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner! For those of you who are a little behind in planning, here are some romantic and FREE Valentine’s Day ideas.

  • Hide notes around your significant other’s home, car, coat, purse, briefcase etc. for him/her to find throughout the day.
  • Create-your-own-adventure-style coupon. Real Simple offers a free download here!
  • Cook for your significant other. This is what Matt and I are planning on doing. We are going out Saturday night instead of Thursday so we plan to cook a special meal together on V-Day night 🙂
  • Fill a decorated jar with Post-it notes of compliments and things you love about your partner. Tell them to open one a day for the next month. It’s a gift that keeps on giving!
  • Make their favorite dessert. Matt loves white chocolate mousse so I made this for him last year. It didn’t turn out so great but he still loved the gesture!
  • Frame one of your favorite photos of the two of you and give it to your partner. Maybe add a special note written on the back that only the two of you know is there.
  • Plan an indoor picnic with wine, bread and cheese. Lay out blankets and pillows and get cozy. fireplace also a plus!
  • Print out a free V-day printable and write them a love-note.
  • Decorate the fruit in your fruit bowl with a sharpie. “I am bananas over you” on the bananas and “We make a great Pear” on the pears lol!
  • Wake up before your partner and bring them breakfast in bed
  • Send random text messages throughout the day of some of your favorite memories together
  • Send your significant other to work with a prepared lunch. Don’t forget to include a love note inside 🙂

I hope these were helpful for any of you that were lacking inspiration! I need to get started on my love-note post its ;)!

xoxo-J

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for her!

I can’t believe it’s already February 7th! The 1 week countdown to Valentine’s Day begins! I wanted to share a small roundup of Valentine’s Day gift ideas for the lady in your life. Hint hint Matt ;)!

  1. Michelle Watch: I LOVE this watch brand. They have some stunning watches but are a bit pricey. This one is just as beautiful but comes in a silicon strap making it less expensive. I also love the blush color!
  2. Heart Glasses: I love the St. Laurent heart sunglasses but who wants to spend over $450 on sunglasses that may be out of style next summer?! I love a good ole’ dupe and found these on Amazon. I may buy the red too!
  3. Mini Staud Bag: I treated myself to this little bag last spring and absolutely ADORE it. It’s such a fun color and I love the vinyl. You can actually remove the insert which is sometimes fun to do making it a see through purse.
  4. Custom fragrance by Ole Factory: I was invited to create my very own personal fragrance at Ole Factory before the Holidays last year. You can actually purchase my personal fragrance here and get the behind the scenes experience from this post.  I think this is the coolest gift idea, especially for Valentine’s Day!
  5. Venus et Fleur Roses: I have actually never received these but am secretly dying to get them. I mean, roses that last a whole year?! YES PLEASE! I love the look of these roses and think they are a brilliant and thoughtful gift. They are super expensive of course, but even just receiving a single rose in a box is thoughtful, don’t you think?!
  6. Converse x Commes de Garcones PLAY: I have these sneakers and am obsessed. Matt got them for me a few years ago before everyone started wearing them. He is such a trend setter ;). I think these are a cute and stylish Valentine’s Day gift!
  7. Pearl Encrusted Headband: It’s all about the hair accessory this season and I am totally jumping on board. I love this headband in both the black and cream. It immediately takes your look to the next level of chic.
  8. Burberry Scarf: This classic scarf is absolutely beautiful and will never go out of style. I love the pink color!
  9. Ring set: I love this delicate ring set. Such a dainty and pretty group of accessories!
  10. Mini beach tote: Let’s face it, around this time of year everyone is itching to get to the beach. This little beach tote is the perfect V-day gift for your lady if you have a warm weather trip in the future or even if you don’t!

xoxo-J

Chicken Sausage Bolognese with low Carb pasta

Hi Friends! I whipped up this recipe for dinner this week and it came out so delicious I had to share. I love using palmini noodles as a replacement for pasta. Of all the vegetable replacement noodles like zoodles, miracle noodles or shredded carrots, this is the most delicious in my opinion. They are flavorless when heated and sautéed in sauce, and they also have the closest texture to real pasta noodles that I have found. The best part is that the noodles come fully cooked right out of the can. You simply need to run them under cold water for about a minute and then pat them dry. There is no need to soak these noodles in a nut milk. I have seen people doing this and it’s just an unnecessary extra step :). Save yourself some time and just use water to rinse and then dry.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of uncooked chicken sausages. I usually only use 3 for Matt and I, but you could totally cook them all. I like the Premio brand at the grocery, but I have heard that Whole Foods butcher has a great Italian Chicken sausage as well
  • 1 can of palmini hearts of palm spaghetti noodles
  • ½ cup of Rao’s tomato basil pasta sauce (you can use whatever type of sauce you have but I loved the combo of these two)
  • ½ cup of Rao’s 4 cheese sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of diced garlic
  • ½ white onion
  • Pecorino Romano cheese for topping
  • Optional: Roasted cherry tomatoes (toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil spray and roast in a pan for 2-3 hours at 250 degrees. I made mine the day before and used them in this dish!)

Directions:

  • Begin by cutting the casings off of the chicken sausages. This will allow you to crumble the chicken up while it cooks.
  • Run cold water over your Palmini noodles in a strainer for 1-2 minutes. Place on a large plate over a paper towel and using 3-4 paper towels pat dry to try and remove the excess moisture
  • Dice your onion into small pieces and sauté with the garlic in a little olive oil spray in a pan until translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add your chicken sausage to the pan of onion and garlic and sauté until cooked through.
  • Once close to cooked through, add your sauces to the pan and heat until warm
  • Add your Palmini noodles to your pan and sauté while mixing all the ingredients together. I usually add a little more sauce if I think it needs more at this step!
  • Add your cherry tomatoes to the pan
  • Once everything is warm and mixed together, transfer to a pasta dish
  • Top with grated pecorino cheese
  • ENJOY!

Xoxo-J

 

 

2 pieces, styled 3 different ways + a personal styling session GIVEAWAY!!

Photography by Brandon John

Top: Mango only $12!! Jeans: Mango only $24!!

Hi Friends! I did a major shopping haul at Mango recently and purchased some super cute things! I bought this floral top and these high waisted jeans and thought it would be fun to show you guys how you can style these items three different ways. This floral boyfriend blouse is on sale for $12 and these jeans are only $23 so you’re getting a ton of outfit options for under $40!

Look 1: Casual jeans and sneakers with floral top and long black duster.

Duster: Lou and Grey Earrings: Amazon Sneakers: Converse x Commes Des Garcon

This look is awesome for running around town. I have a fun little collection of sneakers. As much as I love heels, let’s be real, I am a Mom and I live in NYC meaning I walk and run around everywhere. Comfy and cute shoes are a must :). I added this black duster for warmth and to add another layer to the look. I made sure to tuck in the blouse to make sure you could see my waist. This keeps me from looking frumpy.

Look 2: Light blue blazer and nude heels

Earrings: Amazon Blazer: Zara (old) similar here: Asos Heels: INC Brand

I love that I can take these pieces from day to night. I threw on a blazer and heels and even kept the same accessories. I wanted to show this look with only a few updates to the style because it’s a great way to think about how you can maximize pieces not only for every day life, but when you travel! I love taking my looks from day to night because it saves me space in my suitcase when packing for more items!

Look 3: Cropped jeans with heels and a statement belt

Blazer: Zara (old) Similar: Express Belt: Gucci Heels: INC brand Earrings: Mango

For this final look, I cuffed the jeans,  added a statement belt, a neutral blazer on top and a new statement earring. By cropping the jeans, I am actually creating the illusion that my legs are even longer than they really are. I love a nude heel as it really elongates the leg!

I hope you guys enjoyed this styling post! As a special gift to my followers and subscribers, I am giving away the opportunity to join the Millie and Main February styling session with me as your personal stylist, for FREE! To enter to win, all you have to do is:

Like this instagram post and tag a friend in the comments

Follow me on Instagram

Follow Millie and Main on Instagram

Subscribe to the Let’s Jess Up newsletter

That’s it!

GOOD LUCK!

xoxo-J

What tools I keep in my kitchen to make cooking easy and fun!

 

Photography by Shadi Garman

Top: Club Monaco Jeans: AG

Hi Guys! Welcome back to the blog. I honestly can’t believe I am posing in front of my stove because if you can believe it, I used to HATE cooking. Yes, hate. I can use that word because I really didn’t like it one bit. A lot of that stemmed from the fact that I used to be really terrible at it. I never enjoyed helping in the kitchen as a child and felt like it was more a chore than anything to help peel carrots and potatoes. Flash forward to 2019, and cooking has become one of my very favorite things to do.

I began my journey with cooking when I started the F-factor diet. You can read more about my journey with that here. Back in early 2018, I had decided to try the F-factor diet and I needed to be more in control of my meals. Before starting F-factor, I would say that Matt did a lot of the cooking and we would cook maybe 1-2 times a week MAX.  We ordered takeout a lot. Luckily there are some really healthy and delicious takeout places in our neighborhood, but we shouldn’t have been eating out so much. It’s not cheap and nothing beats a home cooked meal, right?! I began preparing meals for us, and once I started to see real results from F-factor, I began to look forward to being in the kitchen. Cooking became a kind of adventure! I started to develop recipes and realized I actually have a knack for it! I mean the only person who really eats my cooking is my husband so the trial group isn’t that large ha! BUT he loves my cooking and that’s the only affirmation I need.

Let me just say that I am not a chef and I most certainly never will be. Well, never say never ;). That said, I really love cooking and sharing my recipes with you guys. A big part of the enjoyment of cooking in my kitchen is that I have the tools that make cooking a breeze. I am a Mom and that comes first, I simply don’t have time, to well, take my time cooking. I like to create easy, do-able, f-factor approved and delicious meals. That’s my goal. It’s been so fun and I love that the options are truly endless.

There are a few things in my kitchen that I wanted to share are necessities to keep cooking “easy.” Take a look at the list below for what they are and why I must have them stocked in my kitchen:

 

  1. Kitchen aid mixer: We got this mixer as a wedding gift from Matt’s Mom. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I use this mixer almost once a day for basically anything and everything! It makes mixing SO much easier. It’s hands free and you can control the attachments and speed based on whatever you are making. I use it to prep waffles, my banana bread, sauces, etc. The options are endless. I LOVE this mixer and really recommend it.
  2. Breville Waffle Maker: I am a huge f-factor waffle fan and this waffle maker is the best I’ve found. It isn’t cheap, but it’s the best! It makes 4 waffles at a time and has a built in timer so you can walk away and dilly dally in the kitchen until your waffles are ready. I use this waffle maker a million times a week to prep my waffles. Highly recommend!
  3. Staub Baking dish:  This baking dish is amazing! The quality is incredible and the 7 1/2 x 6 size is the best for my banana bread.
  4. Magnetic Knife holder:  This is kind of random, but I love having a magnetic knife holder. If you are an urban dweller like me, then you know how nice it is to discover ways to make space. This knife holder alleviated the need for a knife caddy on the countertop which surprisingly saves a lot of space. I also love how easily accessible all my cooking knives are at all times. The magnet is super high quality and the knives and scissors do not move unless you pull up on them. We got the 15″ size. It’s great!
  5. Scanpan:  This pan is LIFE. We have had this for years. Yes it is pricey, but you will get your use out of it for sure. My Mom and Papa gave this to us as a wedding gift and raved about it. It’s been amazing.
  6. Small Food Processor: This small food processor is what I use to pulverize my GG crackers for a ton of different recipes. I also use it to crumble chicken sausage when I make my low-carb lasagna. It’s the perfect apartment size food-processor.
  7. Donut Molds:  I love making F-factor donuts and these donut molds are perfect for them! I also just recently made Lashes and Lemons double chocolate muffins in these donut molds. Her recipe makes 4 muffins,  but by using a donut pan you actually get 6 donuts from her recipe! As long as you don’t care that there is a hole in your muffin, these are a great option! I call them muffin-donuts haha!
  8. The Magic bullet: Matt and I use this to make our F-factor protein shakes. You can drink your shake directly out of the cup used to blend it! It is another great option for a small apartment.

I hope you guys enjoyed this roundup of items I can’t live without in my kitchen. If you are interested in what I keep stocked in my pantry, you can always head over to The food Shop!

xoxo-J