“How You Doin”…

Today is January 31st.  The first month of 2013 will be over this evening.  Where did those 31 days go?

I’m checking in today on my January resolution to take better care of my body.  How did I do?

Pure & Simple | January Resolutions

1. Drink more water.

Well I didn’t drink any soda.  And I had some but not a lot of tea.

I did better but some days went by with just a bottle of water downed.

I wasn’t at the computer desk every day all day this month.  I think it is easier to drink water when I’m home.  Must get better about drinking on the go.

2. Eat more fruits & veggies.

Yea, good on veggies, bad on fruits.  Aside from bananas and the occasional orange, I didn’t have much fruit intake.  Maybe I need to try different fruits.  Kiwi?  Pineapple?

Totally on board with the edammae snacks though.  Easy and delish!

3. Workout a minimum of 3 days per week.

I worked out a total of 7 times this month .. well 8 counting tonight.  Not exactly in line with the goal but better than nothing.  🙂

4. Don’t skip meals.

I did much better at this.  I went a few days without eating much for breakfast but am finding new ways to end this bad habit.  Overnight oats in a jar is one way!  I’m blogging out this tomorrow btw. 😉

5. *Bonus* Read one book.

March is the month that I plan to really focus on learning.  But I secretly made a promise to myself that I would read one book a month.  I chose, Life On The Wire, for the month of January.  I am happy to report that it will be finished this evening.  One chapter to go. 🙂

*That is not an affiliate link … I just really like the book. 


Overall I think being aware of my goals and resolutions helped me make better decisions.  I will excuse some bad behavior on my big birthday.  All the eating out and desserts didn’t help my waistline, but I enjoyed every minute of it as I know it is not the norm around here.

And the cold weather snafus don’t help with eating fresh and less processed.  When I’m stuck inside because there is an inch of ice on my car, I can tell you I won’t be choosing an apple over a cookie. 😛

All resolutions are an ongoing process.  I plan to continue to work on these habits throughout February … and the rest of 2013.  I will be adding something new to the mix every month but will continue to work on the above.

Maybe if I make a cute graphic like the one above, then I can print it and add to the refrigerator.  Seeing it everyday might serve as a good reminder. 🙂

How are you doing on your monthly resolutions? 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

A Little Of This…

…. And A Little Of That.

It has been a few days since I last posted so I felt the urge to play a little catch up today. 🙂


I wrote about my lack of recipe inspiration.  I was feeling a little blah in the recipe department.

The weather was terrible which caused both awesome appointments on my calendar to end up … well …

Cancelled Appointments

After said weather disaster and bare bones pantry supplies, I decided to head to the grocery store.  I had cabin fever and just had to get out!  Probably not the smartest move but I managed to make some delish tacos for dinner.

After dinner I ate 5 … yes 5 … small chocolate chip cookies.  Well the dough actually.  I hid the rest in the back of the fridge.


I took a morning walk with Cody and it looked a little something like this.

Icy Morning Walk

I spent hours writing out a grocery list and menu plan.  Well maybe just one hour.

I cleaned the ceiling fan.  {it was embarassing}

I primed a frame that has been sitting on the patio for months.

I went to the gym(!)  Raymond found the hidden cookies.  After he told me how many calories and fat I had consumed I felt bad.  The gym was calling.

Made a trip to Trader Joes … along with everyone else in Charlotte.

Made a trip to Harris Teeter.  Spent a ton on groceries and was so excited to show off my supplies when I got home!  Yes, I am a dork like that. 😉

Raymond made Chicken Parm that was out of this world!  It was our first time cooking it and I will say … that will happen again!


Where ever the wind blew, I went!  The wind actually blew me to Goodwill.  Two of them to be exact.  I had to fight the masses at one!  Whew!

Made “grilled” chicken in the oven … on a cast iron skillet.  It is so easy and delicious!


I became obsessed with Overnight Oats In A Jar.  Raymond won’t touch it.  My mom said, “Sounds gross”.  Ha!

I organized with beautiful L.  We made some serious progress in her closet. 🙂

Made Southwest Stuffed Peppers.  Next time though?  No rice (blech) and poblano peppers.


Still obsessed with OOIAJ.  Organized with beautiful S.  We ended up hanging out more than organizing … sometimes that happens. 😉

I drooled over her closet for a second time and even shared some pictures on Instagram. 🙂

Taj Ma Closet

Later I went to a workout class and loved it!  Came home to make the best veggie pizza ever!


Blogging and sipping coffee while hoping the wind and storms blow over.  I have plans for this evening afterall!

…. SO … what have you been up to? 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature


Foodie Friday…

So it’s Foodie Friday and I have come up short.  :/

I got up this morning and frantically started flipping through my Recipe Binder and Pinterest board to find a recipe to showcase today.  I came up with nothing.  I want to stick with healthy recipes … afterall it is still January and those healthy resolutions should still be top of mind. 😉

But in all honesty … this is a great reflection of my life from the past few weeks.  If I don’t have a recipe to showcase, then I haven’t been cooking.  See when you have a big birthday like I just had, you end up going out a lot for dinners and such.  Going out means no cooking. 🙂

Business has really picked up thanks to recent PR.  But when business picks up, I don’t get much else done.  I especially don’t have time to write out weekly menus, type out a grocery list, and muster up the energy to grocery hop.  Raymond went to the grocery store 2 weeks ago (thank goodness) but we are now down to the bare bones.  We have eaten out a lot this week.  It is something I hate doing, but will resort to it if I don’t have time for anything else.

So I ask you … any good recipes you would like to share?  🙂  Even pointing me in the direction of your Pinterest Foodie Board would be awesome. 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Charlotte Today Appearance…

I intended to post about my recent girl’s trip to Blowing Rock.  We had a blast.  Tons of great pictures and great quotes.  Only to realize that I left my camera at my parent’s house. *wonk*wonk* :/

In the meantime….

Jennifer on WCNC Set

I will post about the Charlotte Today appearance.  😀

I’ve been the nervous type for years … as long as I can remember.  However, I seem to be doing better with my anxious nerves.  I tell myself “Nothing To Do It, But To Do It‘ and “People aren’t scary”  {that last one was borrowed from my mentor Angie} 🙂

Well, my anxious nerves were acting up last Monday.  I didn’t sleep well … at all!  I dreamt I was at the wrong news station.  I dreamt they told me to go home because I was so awful.

Wonderful dreams to start the day.  Then I wake up and it is pouring down rain!  I don’t know many girls who get excited about a rainy soggy day when they need to be dressed to the nines.

So I get ready, gather my props, and head out the door with Raymond in tow.  Traffic was jacked up thanks to above mentioned rain.  We took some detours and arrived with time to spare.  Time to shine … except I had an hour and half to kill.  Cue anxious nervous.

Raymond and I set up the props table and I walked around rehearsing my “lines”.

Pure & Simple Props Table

I hold my hands like that when I get nervous. :)

I hold my hands like that when I get nervous. 🙂

Someone walked up and mentioned that President Obama had a scheduled press conference for 11:30.  That would be 5 minutes before I was set to appear.  Awesome.

Watching from the Peanut Gallery

Watching from the Peanut Gallery

So the show started.  Raymond and I watched from the Peanut Gallery.  I shot my “teaser” and then the President tuned in.  Good gracious!  So we taped the segment and I tried to smile and have as much fun as possible.  I think it went pretty well!  Do you? 🙂

Having fun on set!

Having fun on set!

These ladies were awesome!  Thank ya'll for making me feel at ease! :)

These ladies were awesome! Thank ya’ll for making me feel at ease! 🙂

And here is the segment! 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

{DIY} Earring Organizer…

Something from Sarah time!  I met Sarah for coffee last week to sign some internship papers.  She shared this blog post idea with me over said coffee.  I think I squealed like a little girl.  I love a good DIY … especially if you can find everything at your local Goodwill store … and super especially if it has to do with organizing. 🙂


{DIY} Earring Organizer

For someone who wears the same jewelry almost every day, I have an awful lot of jewelry!  Don’t believe me? Here are all the baubles that I wore yesterday:

Sarah's Jewelry

And the day before that… and the day before that:

Sarahs Jewelry 2

Sensing a trend?

To make matters worse… here is my jewelry collection:

JB: I love the storage. :)

JB: I love the storage. 🙂

That’s not even everything!  I keep it pretty well organized, but let’s be honest, it’s much easier to keep something organized when you hardly ever touch it!

Although my day-to-day jewelry stays the same, there’s one thing that I switch out almost every day: earrings!  They’re a cheap, easy way to add a little whimsy to my look.  I used to constantly lose them because I didn’t have a consistent home for them all.  Most earring holders are so expensive.  Many DIY options only hold fish hook styles, leaving me with no where to keep my studs!

I took matters into my own hands and made a holder for both styles.  Better yet, it’s cheap, fast, and easy to make.   Not to mention all the necessary materials can be found at Goodwill.  You may even have them on hand in your own home.

All you’ll need is a sweater and a wooden picture frame.  That’s it!

Supplies: Sweater, Wooden picture frame

Supplies: Sweater, Wooden picture frame

Here’s the earring frame I made for myself, I’ve had it for almost two months now and I can honestly say it works!

Sarah's version she made a few months ago.

Sarah’s version she made a few months ago.

Here’s how you make your own:

Step One: Gather Materials.

Although they should be easy to find, there are a few guidelines for your materials.

For sweaters, look for a heavy, chunky knit… you shouldn’t be able to see through it unless you stretch the sweater slightly.

Sweater options

For your frames, it has to be wood (it’s pretty hard to staple into metal or plastic!) and it should have the hanger on the actual frame, not the cardboard part, like this:

Frame optionsYou’ll also need a pair of scissors and a stapler… just a plain office one works fine!

Step Two: Assembly!

Cut the sweater.

Cut the sweater.

Take the cardboard backing off the frame and press the prongs flat.

Line up the frame over the sweater and cut around the edges.  It doesn’t have to be perfect!

Line up the sweater

Pull the sweater taught and staple it directly to the frame, holding the stapler flat against the wood and press hard so the staple doesn’t bend!

Staple sweater to frame

Trim the edges… it doesn’t have to be pretty, it just can’t show when you flip the frame.

Step Three: Hang and Enjoy!

Finished product

That’s it!  Stick the earrings directly through the yarn of the sweater.  I keep my hooks at the top and studs at the bottom, so when I need to take the back off one of my studs I just lift the corner of the frame.

There’s so many ways you could personalize this with different paint and sweater combinations… what will you choose?


Oh my — how cute and easy! 🙂   What do you think?

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Foodie Friday {Crock Pot Chicken Taco Salad}…

Whew … what a week!  I sent Raymond to the store sans grocery list earlier this week.  I had a lot going on and grocery list making + grocery shopping was not one of them.  He did an awesome job.  I might be transferring that domestic duty to him more often. 🙂

Last week we made this amazing dish that I found on Pinterest here.

The recipe was for Tex Mex Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  I liked the idea of the mexican lettuce wraps, but we decided to eat it in a taco salad.  Which was awesome btw!

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Salad

  • 4 chicken breasts (frozen)
  • 1/2 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded & sliced)
  • 16 oz jar of salsa
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  1. Place the frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot. 
  2. Sprinkle the taco seasoning on top of chicken.
  3. Add jalapeño and onion to the crock pot.
  4. Top with the jar of salsa.
  5. Cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  6. After 4 hours, take the chicken breasts out.  Chop or shred the chicken.  Place back in the crock pot.
  7. Stir to combine.
  8. Serve in a taco shell bowl with chopped lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, fresh tomatoes … and any other garnishes.

Super easy — I love crock pot dinners!  Enjoy!

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Nothing To It…

Nothing To It But To Do It

What a great quote.  “Nothing to do it but to do it.”

It’s Raymond’s motto.  He has {finally} instilled this in me.  On Monday I could feel my nerves starting to surface while waiting for the Charlotte Today show to start.  I was pacing the area practicing my lines.  Raymond could tell I was getting nervous.  He looked at me and said, “There’s nothing to it but to do it.”  Yes indeed!

Last year started out rather quietly for me.  Quiet is a nervous time for an entrepreneur.  I had several ups that helped build some confidence.  I had some downs that took me 4 steps back.  As I wouldn’t have it any other way — after all no one got anywhere without crossing a few bumps in the road & it’s the best way to live and learn — it was a very unsure time.  I was learning to trust the process, something my coach taught me early early on! {hi Robin!}

Trusting any process is a very hard thing to do.  What about the future.  What about the “what if’s”.  What about the worst case scenarios.

I’ve done a lot of soul searching in the past 3 years.  A. Lot.  I think it comes with the territory when you decide to focus and work on your passion.  The below words of wisdom might help you during your journey … if you are on one.

I can remember the day as if it was yesterday.  I was at home {in Dallas} hanging with my mom and having a very deep conversation with Raymond over text message.  Late night too btw.  It went a little something like this:

Nuggets of Advice from Raymond

  • Do your best now and live happy.
  • Set goals — have dreams.
  • Tomorrow will come.  That is certain.
  • Just do your best each day and everything around you will grow and be in harmony.
  • Don’t lose sight of what makes you happy because then it becomes a struggle and a burden.
  • Control yourself & don’t let things control you.
  • See hazards but don’t focus on them.
  • Mentally focus on the positive.
  • You have to want it.
  • Be hungry for it — not afraid of failure.  {Um, way easier said than done!}
  • If you want it, truly bad enough, then you will believe enough.  You will find yourself doing things that produce results.
  • You’ve worked too hard and that’s when you have to dig deeper and work harder.
  • When you think it is all over that is when you just got started.
  • You don’t plan everything out.  Things don’t always go as planned.  There are curveballs.
  • You don’t walk away.  You dig in and hit the shot.
    • This was right after the 2012 Masters where Bubba Watson hit the shot of a lifetime to win.
  • Grow the hunger.  If you don’t use it, then you will lose it.
  • Believe you can — it never ends.
  • When you stop, you lose. 
  • Be around others with drive, positive thinking, the experience, the know how.
  • Don’t bum off them, but instead feed off them.  Learn from them.
  • Make your own decisions.
  • Take good and bad from it all, processing it and bettering it everyday.
  • You have to check yourself.
    • Do you want it?
    • Are you going to fold when obstacles get in the way?
    • Do you want to be happy and enjoy what you do for a living  — through good times and bad?
  • You don’t have to be a millionaire to be happy.
  • Just wake up doing what you love.
  • Smile — Love — and Be Loved.
  • What is promised and given is that you live and you die.
  • Live each day happy.
  • Or die in a never winning race to be rich and successful.
    • That is a rat race — you die always a rat.
  • It’s a marathon not a sprint.
  • Do the right things — learn and you will be fine.
  • Focus, work, be thankful — that will produce the right opportunities for tomorrow.
  • Enjoy the journey.
  • We are all given the time.  We are all given the choice.  When it’s up — it’s up.  
  • Embrace it and let it roll. 
  • Don’t question it — just believe totally in your thoughts and work.
  • Go to bed with a smile and know you are living a good life.
  • You get up in the morning and keep moving in that direction with that attitude.
  • Make today count.

🙂   That is all I have to say about that.

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Turning the big 3-0…

Forewarning: this is a long post.  Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy! 

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  I. Love. My. Birthday.  It is my favorite day out of every year.  Okay that might be an exaggeration but I love my birthday.  Always have.

My dad jokes that I have the Stanley Burnham gene in me.  My grandpaw turned 70-something this year.  He loves his birthday as much as a 4 year old kid.  And so do I.  No shame in my game! 😉

I have to agree with this post that turning 30 is something that everyone has an opinion about.  My opinion?  Bring on the 30’s!  My 20’s were a fairly typical laundry list of do’s and dont’s.  I think your 20’s are for finding yourself.  For exploring.  For understanding what life is about .. and can be about.   I’m ready for more exploring and more challenges in the 30’s.  I might be a little nervous about aging gracefully which is why I wear Mary Kay, workout, and drink water (see this post about January’s resolutions)!

Before going on to what I did for my birthday this year, I thought I would share these:

The Minimalists {30 Life Lessons From 30 years}

  • My favorite is #3:  Happiness is not for sale in any store.
  • #4 is also a favorite.  Success means something different to everyone.  Define what it means to you.  Is it money?  Is it happiness?  Is it love?  Is it the zest for life?
  • Don’t skip over #8 either! .. goodness the whole list is awesome!

Forbes {I’m Excited About Turning 30, And Here’s Why}

Great quote from that post:

“To me, the more experiences we accumulate, the greater clarity we can have about the life we really want to live. If each day, we take just one bold step towards what we truly want, eventually it is possible to create the life of our dreams.”


Okay — so what did I do for my birthday?  Well I had big plans for Saturday like hot yoga at 8am, estate sale afterwards, shopping for the Charlotte Today show appearance, picking up my birthday cupcakes, then dinner with Mom & Dad.  The first 2 did not happen.  Oh well 😉

The cupcakes from House of Madison were delish!  I’m still eating them.  Not exactly in line with my January resolution. :/  I met my parents at Mac’s Speed Shop in Lake Norman for a low key birthday dinner.  I had never been.  It was very cool, but I’m not sure I will go back for anything other than the mac n cheese.  Afterwards was a trip back to the apartment for some surprise birthday cake from Jenn’s Sugarlicious Bakery.  Yes that is right.  I had a dozen cupcakes and a large 3 layer cake to enjoy.  Yep January Resolution is moving farther and farther away. 😛

Mom & I having some fun at the Birthday Dinner :)

Mom & I having some fun at the Birthday Dinner 🙂

My wonderful surprise birthday cake!

My wonderful surprise birthday cake!

Sunday was my birthday and I wanted to do something different.  Raymond and I love our Sunday Scavenger hunts but this time we decided to head up to Chapel Hill & Carrboro.

King Cody has all the essentials for the road trip.  Blanket Bed.  Bone.  Baby Cow.  Who's birthday was it again?

King Cody has all the essentials for the road trip. Blanket Bed. Bone. Baby Cow. Who’s birthday was it again?

"Are We There Yet?"

“Are We There Yet?”

The infamous well at The University of North Carolina.

The infamous well at The University of North Carolina.

Looking cute as pie :P

Looking cute as pie 😛

Cody was thirsty -- drinking for the well at UNC

Cody was thirsty — drinking for the well at UNC

This place was awesome!  $25 cowboy boots?!

This place was awesome! $25 cowboy boots?!

The weather was perfect for a day out!  70+ degrees — I wore flip flops!  Super fun day full of walking and exploring.  Slight foodie tour and plenty of pictures.  I was exhausted when we got home.

Monday rounded out the weekend of fun with my Charlotte Today show appearance.  I was a little nervous about Live TV.  My 3M videos were filmed with “help” (aka a script and several takes).  I had a great time and hope to do more appearances! 😉

Ramona Holloway, Me, Colleen Odegaard :)

Ramona Holloway, Me, Colleen Odegaard 🙂

I returned to the land of the living yesterday and had a slight meltdown.  Piles and piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and to-do lists.  Welcome back Jennifer. 😉

What is your opinion on turning the big 3-0?  

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Charlotte Today Show…

Good Monday Morning!  Don’t forget to watch the Charlotte Today Show this morning!  I will be making a guest appearance talking about the “Rules for Decluttering”.

Tune In!

  • WCNC
  • 11am-12noon


Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Foodie Friday {Homemade Italian Dressing}…

Before I proceed with Foodie Friday’s recipe, I need to know something.  Flax or chia?  What do you do with the flax?  I bought flax seeds and flax meal from Trader Joes.  Both have been sitting on the counter while I try to decide what to do with them.  Then I hear chia is the new flax. Way to be late to the party Jennifer… Foodie help please? 🙂


I know … I’m writing a post about salad dressing.  Boooring.  😛  Well in keeping with my healthy recipes for Foodie Friday, I wanted to blog about my favorite salad dressing.  Well my fave is Ranch … but that is beside the point.

I love eating salads.  I especially love eating salads at home (much cheaper!).

I hate bottled dressing.  All of them.  I like some in the refrigerated section of the produce department but I prefer to make my own.

I’m not an O&V + lemon juice kinda gal either.  I need some flavor to go along with that lettuce afterall! 😉

I have made this several times over the past month and Raymond LOVES it!  I store it in a mason jar.  Love me some mason jars!

Modified from this recipe

Homemade Italian Dressing

  • 1 packet Good Seasonings Italian Dressing Mix
    • Oil, water, vinegar (for the packet)
    • I use slightly more vinegar and water than the instructions call for to cut down on the oil consumption.
  • 1 TSP Dried oregano
  • 1/2 TSP
    • Sugar
    • Mayonnaise
    • Pepper
  • 1/4 TSP Garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 TBSP water
  1. Prepare Good Seasonings dressing according to package.  I make this in the carafe that comes with the dressing kit.
  2. Pour in a medium bowl.
  3. Add additional ingredients.  Whisk until mixed thoroughly.
  4. Store in the refrigerator.

Hello you big beautiful bowl of lettuce! 🙂

Now … please share any Ranch recipes that might be healthy. 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature