WELCOMING THE SEASON WITH A DIY WREATH

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetMy favorite time of the year is showing up at our door step sooner than I expected.. And… I’m so excited!! Welcoming fall is one of my favorite times of the year, besides Christmas of course. That’s probably because fall reminds me that Christmas is around the corner. Oh, and who doesn’t like a great pumpkin spice latte? Or anything with pumpkin in it for that matter?? In this household, we sure do! Starbucks takes a good chunk of our pay on a regular day. Imagine what it’s going to take around the holidays with all those yummy seasonal flavors?!? We might need a budget soon enough lol. I think I speak for many when I stated that the best part of the year is showing up at our doors very quickly. So I thought, what better way than to welcome fall at our door step with some decorations and a great DIY.. Well fall is literally being welcomed at our “door” step with an exciting entrance! An easy DIY wreath! The best part of it was how easy it was to make and being able to decorate it however you envision it! Oh and did I mention you won’t have to pay a crazy $50 dollars on these online websites?! Score! I’m extremely excited to share a piece of my happiness of this DIY wreath with you all. Below I tried to capture a step by step of my masterpiece for you all! Enjoy and let your creativity run wild!

My basic materials included the following, which I purchased at my local Michael’s Arts & Craft’s store:
1) Burlap ribbon (There’s a big variety in colors, so choose your favorite!)
2) Wire wreath
3) Floral wire & Tacky Glue
5) Fall decor (mine included some fall leaves and small pumpkins, orange ribbon for the bow, different color burlap for the banner triangles and twine string)

First, I grabbed my wire wreath and burlap and began the process of threading in the burlap to make it look full. I found this great tutorial online  Burlapwreath.com which demonstrated the threading of the burlap into the wire wreath in such an easy and step by step manner that it was my way to go and tutorial of choice. It was simple and to the point! Just what I needed after some confusion on how the heck I was going to get the burlap to look pretty on the wire wreath!lol I tried taking some good pictures of the steps too, I hope they help.  Long behold, STEP ONE:Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetHere was the start once I got the hang of it. Below you will see some of the wire wreath show, don’t worry you’ll be able to ‘fluff’ it up after you are done.

Below, was after I ran out of the first roll of Burlap and had to tie in the following. These pictures will give you an idea of how to start applying the burlap onto the wire wreath. I helped secure each beginning burlap roll with some of the floral wire.

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THE FINAL Stage of the Burlap wreath and how I finished it off is below. After the last 3 loops were in place, I flipped the wire wreath to the back side, twisted the end of the burlap and made a secure knot tied into the actual wreath to secure it in place.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetStep two: consisted of decorating and making a small bow I came up with. This is your chance to be creative and decorate as you please! We are not big on the whole “Halloween” concept, so we went for..FALL! =) Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

I literally used the floral wire for everything and having everything stick! Worked like a charm!

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetHere is my attempt on the bow and my cute little burlap banner and some paint to write on each individual triangle!

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Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetThere you have it… MY very own DIY wreath! The best part about it is that it’s my own.. and I spent the time making our home ready to welcome this new season at our very own ‘Door’ step!  What are your favorite DIY’s bringing in the new seasons?

❤ Jen

Hello October!

OUR HEALTHY CHALLENGE UPDATE

blog10We finally have an update for you all on our fitness/healthy challenge! In the beginning of August we shared with you all that our lifestyle was slacking a bit in regards to being healthy and challenging our bodies to be better and healthy for us! Well, I think we are happy to share with you all that we have pretty much stuck to our goals. We are so very proud of ourselves that we have been working towards a better us, a better lifestyle and healthier choices. In August, we shared with you all a handful of specific goals Here to get us started on our journey.

Since then, we definitely have been trying to meet all of them on our list to our best capabilities. We have been very successful at cooking more at home and eating out less. Eating out lately has been more of a treat for us from time to time, rather than an everyday thing. It really has been better, not only for our health but also financially and for our relationship. We get to work together more often in the kitchen and do things together. One of our most exciting things now come dinner time is to GRILL! Yes! we bought a grill and it was so exciting for us lol. We grill just about anything we can find and can go in our lovely grill! The food taste so much better and we get more excited to eat at home. Plus, it makes food so much healthier! Goals one and two of eating cleaner and eating in more are getting checked off the list for sure!

Goals; three, four and five were more for us outside of our home and they all have been just as successful. Some are more limiting at times, like including more outdoor activities into our schedule. But for the most part, the chances we have had, we have taken the opportunities to do so ( like our kayaking adventures mentioned here and here.) Going to the gym was also a main priority for us, especially since it had been such a big part of who we were before we started slacking. We have been very good in keeping up with the gym for sure. After work we make it a priority to make it to cross-fit at 8pm, which is the last class. At the beginning it was definitely challenging, taking into consideration we are so tired from our 12 hour shifts. But we fought through it and now it’s a lot easier to actually make it to class.

All in all, I am proud of our efforts in sticking to our challenge. October is right around the corner, which was our original beginning goal, and I am certain we will have our goals met. We are on the right path and its keeping us motivated. This challenge was not to be hard-core organic or hardcore body builders. But it was most certainly to be more healthier and to get us out of falling into a sedentary lifestyle. We feel healthier, our clothes are fitting us better and we are seeing the results. It feels great! ..Don’t get me wrong, due to our jobs inconsistent schedules, we at times run late and don’t make it to our workouts, but we make sure to go another day in the week. We also treat ourselves to some good comfort foods from time to time and enjoy a good dessert! We just don’t do it as often! Or.. we make up for it in another way by cutting some other foods out.

Our Fitness/Healthy challenge has been a journey for sure, but a journey we are making sure stays in our lives until we can’t anymore. We are loving the idea of creating new foods, or at least trying new foods and incorporating them into our daily menus. We feel better, we are getting results, and we are still motivated to keep going. That’s really all I could wish for or even ask for in order for us to keep going. We will keep updating you all from time to time on our healthy challenges! Again, any questions and or suggestions are always welcome! Motivation from others is always helpful!

Thanks for the support always!

❤ Jen and X.

Below are some our favorite dishes lately, whether we created or re-created and our new grill and cross-fit gym! (p.s Im not a cross fit junky lol) Enjoy!

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My handsome, his Tshirt and our grill! lol

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PIZZA NIGHTS IN!

pizza9Sometimes, we all just need a Night in! In this household, we have many ‘nights in,’ and that is quite okay with us! This past weekend, I was out-of-town for a Disney getaway with some of my closest friends and the kiddos ( My kiddo, was my little sister Sofia, lol) and to celebrate our friends birthday. We had so much fun and can’t wait to share with you all that adventure soon enough! Needless to say, while it was a fun weekend.. it was also very tiring! Disney is not all fun and games people! It’s hours of walking, the killer heat or RAIN!- of Florida (yes, even is September the sun melts us away!) Standing in lines for a while, while the sun is melting you away, oh and did I mention A LOT of walking in the sun!? lol I think you guys get my point.

So today, I caught up on some much needed sleep, ran some errands. And after a quick gym session the last thing we wanted to do was cook a four coarse meal nor get dressed to go out! So we called it a night in! And a night in calls for some good ol’ comfort food that’s quick and easy! Thank goodness for some great publix (our grocery store) finds tonight!  We get so excited when we know we can add a healthier twist to some of our favorite comfort foods! Especially since starting our healthy challenge. We really don’t know exactly how many calories are in each slice, nor do I know how much healthier this turkey pepperoni is for xavier, nor how much healthier this version of pizza is. But what really matters at this point is that we tried! lol

Tonight’s menu read: PIZZA a la Jen and X. One pizza, two ways. When we went to our grocery store, we found something that was very appealing to our eyes and our bellies! Boboli Whole Wheat Pizza Dough!pizza1 It’s already semi-pre cooked and makes it so easy to just add your favorite toppings! We went light on some traditional pizza sauce, some 2% mozzarella light cheese and tried to choose some healthier toppings! For Xavier that included some turkey pepperoni with some thinly sliced onions. I tried to keep it a little lighter and went for some tomatoes, mint leaves, cilantro and thinly sliced onions too. After assembling our master piece, in it went into the oven for just 8-9 minutes and WALA! Dinner was served, along with a glass of red wine for Xavier and a glass of some light Sangria for me.

Our night in turned out to be just what we needed! Some yummy food, pleasant drinks, our feet up on the couch and some much needed relaxation.. You can’t beat that!  What are your favorite Pizza toppings?? Do you all have your favorite easy and quick healthy recipes too? We would love to hear all about them! Xavier and I appreciate some good food whenever presented to us! Hope you all had a great Monday!

Jen ❤

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pizza8pizza7pizza6Cheers to Yummy foods in our bellies! =)

 

 

NYC COUNTDOWN

NYCaWe are officially counting down till New York!  Xavier and I could not be more excited at this point. In exactly one month, we will be packing our suitcases with our fall attire and getting ready to get on a plane!  Xavier and I have taken road trips together in the past, but this will be our first mini vacation involving a plane ride! Both of us have been to New York in the past, but of course, never together. This time around to New York, we are looking forward to many things… One being that we will be together!

Another being, that one of the main reasons we decided to take this trip is because we will be attending a big event in Madison Square Garden that is oh so dear to Xavier’s heart. Lol. But of course, as  the good girlfriend I try to be, I could not let my honey go alone and not share the moment with him. He is so excited that he will be able to see his favorite DJ’s, Above & Beyond, live, in the worlds most famous arena..and so am I! I’m sure it will be an experience!

Another reason we are excited is because we came up with the conclusion that we think of New York as a “Hate and Love” type of place! The adrenaline that gets pumping while walking through the streets of NY is exhilarating! Yet at the same time, can be so frustrating! sigh.. But at the end of it all, it is NEW YORK and that alone can get anyone excited, it is the concrete jungle after all.

And finally we are so excited to try new things while we are there. We both have done the “touristy” things and this time around we would love to experience NY from a different perspective by possibly going to places real New Yorkers go to, where the “locals” go!  I guess when the time comes, we will see exactly how much of the ‘local’ things we actually get to experience, due to only being  there for 4 days.

For sure we will be making some room in our schedule to head on over to Brooklyn, we’ve been hearing of some great places to go adventure to there. But we would love some suggestions from you all. If you have ever traveled to NY and have places that you would highly recommend and wouldn’t mind sharing, we would love to hear all about them! And if you are a local New Yorker and have some ‘insider’ tips and or places that are a ‘must’ to see or to go to!  We are all ears and eyes! Oh, and by the way, we are fatties! We love us some good food! So all suggestions are welcomed!! We can’t wait to hear back from you all! We are so excited and can’t wait to share that adventure with you all once the day comes!!  Let the countdown begin!

Oh, and did I mention.. So excited to see New York’s leaves change color! Hello Fall!

Have a lovely evening everyone!

Just a Few of my old NYC shots and our new T-shirts ready to be worn for the event! (ABGT#100)

-Jen ❤

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Central Park 2012

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HELLO 25.. HELLO ST.AUGUSTINE!

hello25I think Birthday’s are just another day to be thankful and to realize how much we are blessed. Usually my birthday’s consist of a nice family dinner and day out! Well this year, for the big 25 it was more than just a dinner and day out. Thanks to my lovely boyfriend and family, it was a Birthday weekend getaway! It was so great and special of him. Since Xavier and I started dating, I have always made comments on how lovely it would be to just take a drive up to St. Augustine, FL. Well about a month before my big 25, I made it known that for this birthday I really wanted to go somewhere that I had never been to before and to be able to share it with his and my family. I think he got the point because one, he told me to stop worrying about it and two, he secretly planned the whole thing. He got my parents and his family all on the same page and they agreed to make the drive up for my birthday for the weekend.

I think one thing we did learn throughout his planning is how hard it is for both of our families to keep secrets,haha. We had a couple of people slip throughout the process. My mom during the week, slipped and asked me how the weather was in St. Augustine. His Aunt mentioned St.Augustine in a conversation about hotel rooms. And our friend Anita during lunch made it known that we weren’t going to be here for the weekend. Needless to say, I kind of had an idea a day or two before the actual trip. haha, my babe at least tried. Don’t get me wrong, I was still pretty surprised. Surprised because even though I kind of knew, I was surprised that not only did my parents go but also his parents and his aunt and uncle and their daughters. It was definitely shocking that he was able to get both of our families together, since we’ve failed several times at doing so. With the exception of some other individuals that I wish could have made it. It was still so special to have the ones that were able to make it, get away with me and leave their busy schedules behind.

The night before the trip, midnight to be exact, I got my Happy Birthday wishes and a beautiful watch and a card stating that we were leaving for the weekend! He can be so sweet. So the day of my birthday we got our bags and headed to my parents house. Turned out we were driving up with them, so off we were! Xavier than let me know that his parents would be driving up the next day since they had to work. Long behold, after a 4 1/2 hour drive we were there! Xavier’s parents and aunt and uncle would meet us there the next day.

All in all y’all, it was such a great birthday weekend! It meant the world to me that my family was able to be a part of yet another birthday. Turning a quarter of a century old is a big deal after all!  I truly feel beyond blessed to have such a caring family, not just MY OWN but also Xavier’s. My family and his, are all so supportive of our relationship and have such loving hearts for both of us. I really feel thankful of everyone who put their time and effort on making this birthday special for me, especially Xavier for making the plans. Life can be overwhelming at times, but life can also be wonderful if we choose to make it that way. Life is also about all the little moments we get to experience and who we get to experience them with. This past weekend the moments were memories I will cherish for a life time. THANK YOU EVERYONE!!! You all made me a very happy birthday girl.

And just so you all know, St. Augustine, FL is a beautiful little city! It is full of history, scenery, relaxation and so much more! Being known to be the oldest city, it is so incredibly cute and charming. There was so much to see and experience all in this little place. The views and the stories behind every thing you saw were remarkable. I highly recommend a trip to this charming little city! You truly will be taken back by all it has to offer. It is romantic, relaxing, exciting, and full of charm all at the same time. It was definitely a hot hot summer weekend, with much walking, but it was so worth it! We all fought through the heat and soaked up all that we had to see and learn there. I won’t tell you too much so you all experience it yourselves one day but here are some shots we took while there. Some of our stops throughout the city included: The Fountain of Youth, Castillo de San Marcos, Flagler College, St. Augustine Lighthouse and museum, and a couple of the oldest churches in the city. Those were a few of our city stops to just name a few! Lets just say my camera was very happy there!! And so were we!! (unfortunately I don’t have too many pictures of Xavier’s family since we split up for some of the day they were there for different activities, but they very much were a huge part of my celebration!)

Again, a big THANK YOU to all my loved ones for making memories with me. Love you all. ❤

And to the Love of my Life… thank you for all your efforts in making this birthday extra special for me. Love you to the moon and back times infinity! ❤

-Jen<3

PS. I had an obsession with the beautiful doors

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Thank You for the wonderful memories St. Augustine, see you soon!  Thank you to my family and most importantly.. Thank you God for giving me yet another day & another year, to share with my loved ones and to enjoy this life you have given us!  I am so grateful.

So what places have you all visited recently? =)
*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes