Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Coming Together

A very good friend of mine is moving to New Hampshire soon ... I met Sarah when I worked for a Merchant Service Provider {fancy name for setting people up to accept credit cards} and we have stayed in touch since we both left {almost a year ago}.  We try to have our sushi lunch at least once a week and when we found out she was moving we made sure that we had our lunch each week until she left.

{From left to right: Me, Sarah, Juliana, and Susan}
This was us all celebrating our last weeks working together 

Sarah is good people, I've said this before but it is hard to find loyal, trust worthy, quality friends now a days {or maybe I'm just picky} Anyways I decided I needed to get her something for her new home before she left ... then it hit me! Sarah is engaged to her fiance Jesse {they are actually getting married three days before Mike and I!} and this will be a new place for the both of them.

I give you the Three Heart Map

three heart maps

I have this print set available in my Etsy Shop and I thought it would be perfect! She is from Detroit, her fiance is from Bradenton, and they are moving to New Hampshire!! Now they will have something to hang in their home to remind them of where they came from and where they came together.  I wish them both a lifetime of happiness in their new endeavor! I'll be for sure missing our sushi lunches and ecard texting. 

Bradenton Heart


New Hampshire

I have Mike and I's hanging above our bed.  Don't mind the fact that they are crooked, Wamp walks along the headboard and messes them up all the time! 

Three Heart Map
Detroit on his side of the bed, Buffalo on my side, and Sarasota in the middle 

These make a great engagement, house warming, or moving gift.  I was excited that I could make them for someone.  You can also do other variations like {where you were engaged, married, and live} {where you met, married, and live} or really any special three places.

What would your three places be?

Sarah also does photography for racing {a passion of hers}, check out her stuff at Apex Pix Agency 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was a calm one ... I did three of my favorite things: ate, shopped and watched movies/tv.  My grandma {Gram} and grandpa {Poppy} are in town from Buffalo for the next two weeks. Poppy, my mom's dad and my parents drove to Daytona for the Daytona 500 so it was just me and Gram here.  

Saturday Gram, Marie and I set out to the new mall to find Grams dress for my wedding.  She wanted to look down here because she said everything up north is turtle necks and sweatpants {and she wanted to make sure I liked it}.  Now Marie and I have dress shopping down to a science so we told her to go wait in a dressing room and we were just going to bring her tons of dresses to try on .. Which she did :) 

We picked out a bunch of nice dresses, but of course we had to throw one in there for giggles.  Gram laughed at it and actually put it on to take a picture and send to my cousin Amanda! I asked if I could put the picture on here and she said no! So instead I'll just show you what the dress looked like.

juniors pink and glitter prom dress
Mind You .. Gram is 73 Years Old

She did end up finding her dress but she is waiting til she gets shoes and accessories before she debuts her whole ensemble.  The best part though ... the price! Macys was having a sale and the sales lady also used a coupon so Grams dress came to a grand total of $26!!

We did a little bit more shopping and headed to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  Look who we ran into working that day!

all of us at the Cheesecake Factory
{Left to Right: Marie, Some Guy That Photo Bombed Us, Me, Courtney and Gram}
I really need to start remembering to take more pictures of the food ... or at least our Cheesecake!! At least I got one of Gram having a mid-day cocktail ... She is on vacation after all!

Gram and her drink

That night Mike cooked us some amazing steaks ... he had marinated them all day in a Chimichurri Sauce and then cooked them in a cast iron skillet ... best steak I've had in a long time!! 

steak dinner
Steak, Salad and Cream Cauliflower 

steak cooked to perfection
Steak Cooked To Perfection!

After dinner we rented St. Vincent and made Gram watch it with us.  She said she hadn't watched a movie since she used to go to the drive in way back in the day.  She actually sat through the whole thing and liked it!

Over all I really liked the movie. It was funny, heartwarming and taught you a little bit of a lesson.  On a scale of 1 to 10 { 1 being Team America, the only movie I ever walked out on and 10 being Pretty Woman because well, that's the best movie ever} I give it an 8.5.

On Sunday Gram and I laid out in the front driveway like a bunch of hillbillies ... but we did get some good sun and Gram got to wear her new bathing suit.  I also took advantage of having some time outside to clean out the garage a bit ... it needed it bad.  I finally threw out extra branches from our Christmas Tree that I was going to make something with.  

For dinner we ordered pizza from a new place ... I believe it was called Solarzano's but I'm not sure.  We like to try out different pizza places .. we have yet to find anything amazing and this time was probably the worst we had.  We ordered a Cheese and Pepperoni Pizza and Garlic Bread.  I didn't think the pizza was too bad but Mike hated it {said it was way to greesy} and the Garlic Bread was a joke.  They literally took a piece of bread, sprinkled mozzarella cheese on it and then chopped up chunks of raw garlic, put that on top and threw it in the oven to melt.  EW! 

Anyways ... we had made cookies for dessert so it wasn't a total loss.  

Then we watched the Oscars ... I love award shows {actually I love the red carpet and the opening of award shows .. the rest is eh} I fell asleep before it ended but I got to see what I wanted to see ... the dresses! Below are the Top Four and the Bottom Three {in my opinion} of the night.


Rosamund PikeJenna Dewan TatumMargot Robbie

My absolute favorite was Rosamund Pike {first one in the red} everything about it was just perfect to me!! Jennifer Aniston is just one of my favorite people and I usually love anything she wears.  Jenna Dewan-Tatum, I mean come-on she is literally perfect {and she gets to keep Channing Tatum}!! I didn't know Margot Robbie but I love that black dress ... I'm a big fan of sleeves!


Nicole KidmanLady Ga GaFelicity Jones

Nicole Kidman ... what is that even? You looked like one of those shiny Lisa Frank stickers and Cheap!  I know that Lady Ga Ga has to be weird all the time but this is the Oscars, not the Grammys, just wear something that doesn't scream for attention.  Felicity Jones wasn't atrocious by any means but the whole thing was just kinda ... ugly.

There you have it .. my weekend wrap up, I hope you guys had a great weekend too!  
Jessica Signature

Friday, February 20, 2015

31 {Fri}day Challenge - Earliest Childhood Memory

31 Day Blog Challenge

Up on the challenge today is my earliest childhood memory ... interestingly enough I feel like I can remember things from when I was as little as two years old.  So that is what I am going with.  I was either two or three because I know that we still lived on Marigold Street in Buffalo and we moved from there when I was three.  That was the house where my parents and I lived on the top floor and my Aunt Jackie and Uncle Ron lived on the bottom floor.  I remember playing with my cousin Ryan in the side yard, and I think they had a dog too, a German Sheppard.  I also remember {although it wasn't my earliest memory} riding my Big Wheel in the driveway of that house.  At the end of the driveway it started to slope upwards and one day I went up that slope and completely fell over backwards ... I still have the scar on my elbow from it.

making memories quote

Anyways ... what I remember is loving to watch the Peanuts.  I cannot put my finger on which movie it was but I know that it was the one where they were racing in canoes at some point during the movie.  I would watch that over and over again {coincidentally, I think that was a running theme when I was young because my Grandpa's favorite story to tell about me was when I would watch Home Alone, over and over again} back to the Peanuts.

Now I don't know if this happened by "accident" or if this happened on "purpose" but one day that VHS tape fell behind the TV stand and no one could reach it to get it out.  I remember the TV stand not being that large and could have been easily moved by my dad .. so perhaps it was on purpose.  I think by the time we moved from that house I had forgotten all about that tape. 

Peanuts Picture

That there is my earliest childhood memory ... Apparently I also enjoyed making huge messes in my room of that house {which is completely unlike me today}.  I only know this though via pictures 

messy picture of me
This is where I gained my childhood nickname Messy Jessy

With that being a relatively short post I wanted to also introduce something new! 

Fridays Favorite My Favorite Thing This Week

I'm going to share with you guys my favorite thing of the week every Friday.  These will truly be my favorite things and my own true opinions.  This week are my new shoes!! I purchased them for the cruise because I thought they would be comfortable for walking around the ports and ship but still cute enough.  The best part ... They were only $17! {Now they are on sale for $14!! - I might have to go get another color}  
At your favorite place and mine, Target ... Find them HERE 

Grey Target Shoes

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dr. Oz 3 Day Cleanse - {Final} Day 3

Dr. Oz. 3 Day Cleanse

Whew ... I made it! It was harder than I thought it was going to be though.  I will say that after Day 2, which was the hardest, Day 3 wasn't that bad.  Maybe because I knew that in just a short while I was going to be able to eat again!!

I had my morning green tea and breakfast drink and I scarfed it down.  I didn't think that I was that hungry but once I started drinking breakfast I just couldn't stop. I actually might have one of these drinks for breakfast every once and a while.

After breakfast I was pretty good while I worked, didn't think about food to much.  I had to go pick my grandparents up from the airport {which is about an hour away} so I ground up lunch to take with me. I don't know if I just was hungry but this lunch drink was the best of the three that I had.  Still gross .. but the best of the three.

Dr Oz 3 Day Cleanse Lunch Drink

On the way back from the airport my grandparents were starving and asked me to stop at Burger King ... oh boy.  It took every ounce of will power I had not to order something and then that smell ... you know the smell of FRIED stuff in your car when you get fast food ... well that was torture.  But I figured if I made it this far I had to finish!

I made my dinner drink around 5pm and chugged it down ... I liked that the Cayenne Pepper in it, it gave the drink a nice after bite, seeing as the only flavor I feel like I've had for the last three days is ... Fruit.

Around 7pm I got a bad headache, I took Advil but it didn't help so I was in bed around 9:30pm.  I slept pretty good {I had joked that I was going to get up at midnight and eat one of these Polish Donuts that Mike's friend sent us ... but I didnt} However I woke up with the headache still and it didnt' go away until I ate ... yes ate {actually chewed} breakfast.

To celebrate, me Gram and Pop went to breakfast 

Day 3 Stats
Weight: 130
Energy Level: 9
Hunger Level: 6

So overall the experience was OK, I'm not sure that any detox experience is fun since your basically depriving yourself of food.  However, I do feel like I have more energy throughout the day, especially on Day 2 and 3 I noticed that 2:30 feeling {fatigue} wasn't there and I could get more done throughout the day.  I even felt a little more focused.  I noticed that when I ate breakfast and lunch so far today I didn't get a bloated feeling in my tummy like I usually do for a couple hours after I eat.  Also, as you can see from my stats .. I did loose 5 pounds.  I think that if you generally eat healthy and take vitamins though that you won't notice the effects of the detox as much as some people claim to.

If you plan to try it good luck! And if you have any questions I'm here to help :) 

See Day 2 Here
See Day 1 Here 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dr. Oz 3 Day Cleanse - Day 2

Before I go through my day yesterday {I'm reporting one day behind so I make sure to get all the information from the day in} I wanted to list a few things that I learned so far that you should know before you start:

1.  The lunch drink - does not blend in a blender.  I used my food processor to get this one done.  The celery just doesn't mesh well with a blender.

2. The "grocery list" does NOT take into account the snack shake.  So if you plan on having the snack shake {I haven't done it the whole three days, mainly because I'm sick of drinking} you should figure out which shake you like best from day one then go gather the ingredients for that shake.  

3. Its almost impossible to save "quarters" of an avocado.  The dinner drink calls for 1/4 of an avocado, well by day two the rest of the avocado is quite brown and lets not think about day 3.  I put mine in a ziplock bag and kept it in the fridge, however I would suggest splurging on a couple avocados.  You can also try this idea {Keep Avocado Fresh} which I found AFTER mine went brown. 

That being said ... lets go to Day 2

I was very happy to have my green tea and morning drink {they have by FAR been my favorite part of this}.  I continued with my day but work kept me from having my lunch drink until around 1:45.  I tweaked the recipe a little bit, I only did 2 stalks of celery and 3/4 of the cucumber and it was MUCH better.  It is still the worst drink of this cleanse but it was bearable this way.

I had to go to my parents house around 5pm to help my brother's girlfriend with her history project {between myself, my two brothers, and their girlfriends I have completed about 500 school projects and graduated high school at least 3 times.} Apparently I am the go-to for school help.  Anyways while I was there {which was only an hour} my hands started getting shaky and I was beginning to sweat ... you know the signs that your about to pass out!  

So I hate to tell you friends but I had to cheat a little bit ... I had a 4 pack of BenVita Breakfast Biscuits.  I instantly felt better, stopped shaking and went on.

When I got home I had my dinner drink and went to bed.

Day 2 was by far my worst day, I was hungry, cranky, pass-outy, and complained to Mike more than he cared for  ... But I made it though!  And he still loves me :) 

Since it was my worst day ... I forgot to take pictures! UGH ... I promise I'll have more tomorrow!! 

Day 2 Stats
Weight: 133.2
Energy Level: 7.5
Hunger: 8.9

See Day 1 Here

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dr. Oz 3 Day Cleanse - Day 1

So after eating EVERYTHING on a cruise for 5 days along with eating at our favorite Italian Restaurant two days in a row over the weekend {once for Valentines and once for a celebration dinner} I felt like I needed a detox.  Something simple to help me cleanse my system and jump start my energy again.  After much research {on Pinterest of course}I decided on Dr. Oz's 3 Day Cleanse.

dr  oz three day cleanse

I started yesterday ... I had my Green Tea when I woke up ... I was already missing my morning cup of coffee, but it was easy enough.  I made my breakfast drink around 9:30am and it was pretty good, I actually didn't even finish the whole thing because I was full.

dr oz cleanse does it work

Then came lunch ... EW ... that's all I have to say about that.  The four celery stalks contributed to numbing my tongue so I could try and choke this one down.  By 3:00pm though I was feeling quite weak and my stomach calling out for solid foods.  I know this sounds a bit dramatic but I spend most my day sitting at a desk, I think that if I was up and active doing something I wouldn't have noticed it as much.

I'm not going to lie to you I was hungry in between lunch and dinner but I couldn't imagine drinking two more smoothies {snack and dinner} so I opted to chug some water and push through until the dinner drink.  Which actually wasn't too bad.  It had cayenne pepper in it so it had a little bite to it.  

dr oz cleanse dinner drink

Below I put my stats from day one, and i'll do the same for the next two days.  This cleanse is supposed kick start your energy levels and as a perk you should also drop a few pounds.  For the Energy I based it on a scale of 1-10 {1 being dead - 10 being bouncing off the walls}. - and averaged it for the whole day. For the Hunger Level a scale of 1-10{1 being full and 10 being starving}.

Day 1 
Weight: 135.6
Overall Energy Level: 5
Hunger Level: 6

One day down ... two more to go.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Vacation Wrap Up

Usually my Monday post is my "Weekend Wrap Up" however since I spent my weekend regaining my land legs and cleaning for Grandma Sweeney's arrival ... I give you the Vacation Wrap Up.

Last Saturday Mike and I left on a 5-Night cruise for Key West and Cozumel.  I usually suffer from motion sickness quite easily so I took some Dramamine before we even left for the three hour care ride to the Ft. Lauderdale port.  We boarded the ship and got settled in, and of course got a little snack because the best part of going on a cruise is eating food all-day-long.  We had to attend a reception that evening with Mike's colleagues and I was excited to wear my cute new "nautical" dress.  Sadly this is the only picture we took that night 

{notice my own pillow case in the background, a MUST of mine when traveling}

Sadly the boat was rocking so bad that night I borderline passed out and spent the night in bed while Mike went to the casino.  Luckily in the morning we were docked in the Key West port and could get off the boat! Mike had been to Key West a few times {he LOVES it} and this was my first time so he was our tour guide.  We rented bicycles and rode around the island stopping at the Southern Most Point, Ernest Hemingway's House, and Duval Street.  We had lunch at DJ Clam Shack, of course it was featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives.  {Mental Note: create a page for all the Triple D's we have been to} The food was great, Mike had fried clams and I had fried shrimp tacos with JUMBO shrimp.  We also hit "Key West's Smallest Bar" and another Irish Pub before heading back tot he ship.

{there were a bunch of kitty cats running around the yard ... this one has 6 toes!}

{inside Key West's Smallest Bar}

The next day we were at sea all day {not my friend} but we made the most of it.  I laid in the sun for a while, Mike went to the gym, watched a movie in our room, we played Bingo, saw a great show, and dinner was at 8:30 every night and lasted until 10:30. {Side Note: it is a rare occasion that we get dessert when we go out to dinner, so I took full advantage of it on the cruise and had my favorite ... creme brulee ... EVERY NIGHT}

In the morning we were docked in Cozumel, and this was the highlight of the trip for me.  The excursion that we signed up for was to swim with the dolphins.  I was a little nervous at first but after a you get in the water and get to pet the dolphins it was so much fun.  Each person got kisses and handshakes from the dolphins, you got to hold one, get a belly ride {hold his bottom fins while he swims backwards}, and you got pushed forward from your feet.  Mike refused to get kisses ... he said they were dirty.  

After swimming with the dolphins we went to downtown Cozumel and ate lunch and did a little shopping.  Mike drank the water .... but he recovered quickly.

The last day at sea we spent most of the day relaxing and eating.  This is where I decided that 5 nights is just too long for a cruise.  Perhaps if we didn't already live in paradise we would enjoy the extra day of fun in the sun on the cruise deck but we are a bit spoiled living in the Sunshine State.   That night the cruise ship was a rockin' .. even Mike felt it this time.

Over all we had a great time and made some fun memories.  I will say though I don't plan on going on a cruise any time soon, my legs want to stay on land for a while.  Its taken me about four days to get back to normal.