LIFE & ITS SMALL PLEASURES LATELY

Life lately? Its been good to us. While some days we’re more tired than others. Usually its just because we either work or because we take advantage that we don’t work the next day and stay up late. Either way life has been good to us and we can’t complain. Besides the daily hustle of work, feeding our bellies and driving endlessly, we are grateful. I was looking through my phone earlier and found myself smiling. Smiling.. one, because I can capture such sweet moments here and there and two because even the smallest little things can cause the biggest warmth in your heart. If you know me at a personal level, you’ll know that I’m pretty much a picture hoarder. Times like this, where i get to sit back and look through all those pictures i have hoarded ‘stored in memories’ i feel a sense of happiness. Happy that we don’t forget that at the end of the day, even the smallest of things have made us smile one way or another in our days. I’m glad i keep a lot of these moments in my phone. Gosh, i am so thankful for my iPhone! lol.   I believe we call these, ‘small pleasures.‘  I wanna share with you all some of my simple pleasures within the last couple of  weeks and i hope you understand why my heart is full. Between yummy meals, family time, doggy time, diy’s and my handsome boyfriend, my heart is warm and full of love! What are your simple pleasures friends?

Hope you all are keeping track of all the little things in your lives that make you happy!

Happy week!

-Jen ❤

Breakfast on days off are the best with my honey
Breakfast on days off are the best with my honey

Coming Home to some homemade Fall diy’s always light up my day

Seeing Xavier and Bella become best friends and sending my brother silly faces from the girls always brings smiles

This little lady, is getting too big and reminding me of me when i was her age
This little lady, is getting too big and reminding me of me when i was her age

Don’t you worry my little Sofia, I will always be a kid with you at heart, play on my dear!

Um.. Nutella with anything? Thats always allowed in our home lol

She's our little princess and warms our hearts (even if Xavier denies it lol)
She’s our little princess and warms our hearts (even if Xavier denies it lol)
Spending time with this guy is always okay with me, no matter what we may be doing. This couch with this lady and us together is our favorite
Spending time with this guy is always okay with me, no matter what we may be doing. This couch with this lady and us together is our favorite

link up – Here –

Simple Pleasures

WILL YOU BE MY BRIDESMAID??

Will you be my Bridesmaid!?? That was one of my favorite questions i got asked today. Besides “are you hungry?” lol! In all seriousness, a question like that can make anyone’s day! Especially if its being asked by a special friend that’s so dear to your heart. If you have been reading my blog from the beginning, which i doubt since i think only 10 people did and most were probably my family lol.. Well if you did, you would know that Xavier and I have a mutual friend that means quite a lot to us. Her name is Anita. When i first started blogging, she was one of my very first post, here. In that post i made sure to mention that Anita, Xavier and I all met in nursing school and she soon became Xavier and I’s cupid. Well besides using her beautiful engagement celebration on my blog, it was also a chance to express how dear she is to my heart and how blessed i am to call her my friend.

Today i write about Anita once again, and i couldn’t be more happy to do so. Anita is a person whom i cherish not only as person but as a friend. Even though we don’t see each other daily nor on a weekly basis, she’s a friend that i know will always be there for me. I know this because she always has in the past. As friends that met in nursing school, her and i got to share a huge milestone in our lives together, becoming nurses. There were always challenges.. not only in nursing school but in our daily lives. She was definitely ‘my person’ during those times and i couldn’t have been more grateful for that. We were each other’s cheerleaders when sleep became too little, night’s became too long and when we rocked out exams in nursing school! I will always cherish those memories with her! Did i mention that i met her in orientation while she almost spilled orange juice on me?? lol Well thanks to that orange juice we were inseparable! We pushed each other, we helped each other, we stood up for each other and we made each other laugh when we needed a boost!! And man did we laugh! Till this day, even when we just get to see each other once a month, since sometimes life happens, there is never a dull moment! We can laugh till we wheeze!

So today I said, “I do!!” I said YES to being my beautiful friends bridesmaid! Because I wouldn’t have any other answer but that one. We now share our stories as working nurses, as future wives, and of course of our future as friends! This is yet another moment that we will cherish together and keep in our memories. I couldn’t be more happy for her and her future hubby! I know their future will be full of endless blessings and love! I can’t wait to see her walk next to her hubby as future MR and MRS and i can’t wait to be a part of it! It’s an honor.

So to my dear friend, Thank you! Lets keep on making more memories and laughing till we wheeze! Love you!

-Jen ❤

Heres how she asked! How cute are they!?

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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!

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 

10 DAY COUNTDOWN AND SOME WISHES

25As of today, the 10 day countdown begins till my 25th Birthday! August 29 to be exact. I am quite excited for this day! While I do realize that I am getting older and turning a quarter of a century old.. I still find it exciting and feel amazingly blessed! Blessed to make it to 25; alive, healthy, happy, with a job, with a place to call home, in love with a man beyond my dreams, and a family that loves me unconditionally.

A couple of months ago I shared my feelings with you all when I realized that my birthday was coming up in my post half way to 50. In that post, I remember telling you all how in shock I was when I realized I would soon be half way to fifty. I also stated that I would try to enjoy my last couple months at 24, and in deed I have tried. Like I mentioned before, there are always going to be ups and downs. In these past couple months I definitely have to say that there were a lot more ups than downs, and for that I am grateful. Within these past two months I have tried to adventure out and do things with my parents, like kayaking which I also shared with you all in a post. I have made new goals, like our healthy/fit challenge, purchased my first new car and much more. While at times I complain how tired I am after a long day of work, I am also grateful that at 24 going on to 25 I have a career and a job. I believe that 24 was a good year for me and one that I am truly proud of and will always remember. Twenty-four was very memorable for me and one that I will always cherish. I personally feel like I accomplished a lot and I didn’t realize it until I sat down to share these feelings with you all. At 24 I graduated with my Bachelors in Nursing, entered the field of nursing with a new job, moved out and in with the love of my life who I met in nursing school (killed two birds with one stone ;P) and purchased my first new car! Not too shabby huh?  It wasn’t easy, but it was all worth it.

So on these last 10 days until that BIG 25, I will wait patiently and keep enjoying these last few days as 24 years young! And before I blow out my candles on that day and make some wishes.. I have some wishes before the day comes.

On that day I wish..

to be with my family and xavier’s…

to be with my honey xavier..

to be surrounded with peace..

to be somewhere I haven’t been to before..

to laugh as much as my belly allows..

to enjoy my day no matter what may happen..

and to eat some yummy cupcakes! why not right??

But most importantly, to keep in mind not just on that day.. but everyday, how truly blessed I am. To keep humble and do everything wholehearted. To always remember that God is good and to keep praying for his guidance, no matter what comes my way! I wish that this year more things get accomplished and that I stay true to who I am and who I hope to be. To be a better person. To stay committed to whatever goals I put out for myself. To spend more time with my family. To be a better me for Xavier, my family and myself. I wish for better and greater things for Xavier and I’s relationship. And lastly, I wish that if I fail in any, I learn from them and keep humble at heart. Because who I am and what I have are all by his grace and love. I welcome you with open arms and an open heart 25!! T-minus 10 days! See you soon 25!

Love,

Jen ❤

 

 

TO OUR MOM: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

mom10This week we celebrated  our moms birthday. Let me just tell you all before I go into details, that I haven’t seen that smile on her face in a long time. It was great to see her so happy. To start off, this year my dad had a great idea to surprise her. And boy was she surprised! The plan was to take her out to dinner to a place that she had never been to, but by the beach. Well, the question was, what restaurant?? There are so many down here in South Florida. We wanted to take her to one where we knew she would enjoy the food! ( she’s a picky eater, haha) The second part of the plan was that she would be under the impression that it was only going to be her and my dad. So the search for a restaurant and to make it seem they were going out to a birthday dinner date began. Part of the plan was for my boyfriend and I to pick up my little sister an hour or two before they left for their date. The next part of the plan was to get all my brothers and us of course, together that day to surprise her.

Well on a more personal level, no family is perfect… mine including. So to make a long story short, getting all of us siblings together with my parents was a big step. But by grace and with forgiving hearts, the arrangements were made and we were all on the same page and ready to surprise our mom!

So this past Wednesday,  a couple of days before her actual birthday (we have a wedding to attend on her birthday) we all had the night off from our busy everyday duties..so we used that opportunity to surprise her! I got up that day and picked up some delicious Misha’s cupcakes instead of a traditional birthday cake. ( I highly recommend to try these cupcakes, they are soo yummy!) After that, my boyfriend and I headed over to my parents and picked up Sofia two hours before dinner. We tricked her into thinking Sofia was going to join us for dinner with x and I and his parents, and she fell for it! Shortly after, we got ourselves dolled up and we were of to a restaurant by the beach here in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sea Watch on the Ocean. All us siblings headed to the restaurant first, to wait for her big arrival! We held up our menus so that she wouldn’t see us as she walked in. But when she walked in, she followed my dads instructions to close her eyes.. and long behold, a big “SURPRISE” was definitely heard in the restaurant!

Her excitement and reaction was beautiful and heart warming.  I think deep down we all secretly shed a tear or two with her. She was so overwhelmed with appreciation that we were all there and TOGETHER. Something that had not happened in a long time. I still remember seeing her face and how happy and moved she was. I think as we get older, we seem to appreciate our parents happiness a lot more.. and becomes something you only wish you can fill their hearts with. I think we all did just that this night. And the best part of it was that we all came together for HER and did that and brought her happiness.

After our delicious meals, we headed over to the beach. It was literally right behind the restaurant so we continued the celebration! She blew out the candles on her cupcakes and made a wish that I bet was already complete! Cheers to our mom, friend, and the reason for many of our cries, laughter and love! We wish you so many more by our side!

So dear, Mami..

Happy Birthday from all of us.

We love you oh so much and enjoy seeing you happy!

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Isn't she beautiful?
Isn’t she beautiful?

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Happy Birthday Mami
Happy Birthday Mami

Happy Day my beautiful mother.. You are loved so dearly. May God Bless with you many more.. May he fill your heart with more love, more forgiveness, more happiness and more dreams in your heart.

Love, Jen and the family.