Friday Favorites: Comfy Clothes

Happy Friday friends!  It’s been a whirlwind of events here since I last posted!  We celebrated Thanksgiving (twice), a 10th birthday (with a first sleepover), bought a new car, and have been working solidly for the past 2 weeks (Hello full time craziness – I’m reminded why I do not like you!)  And, to top it all off, the hubs, too, has been working some crazy, crazy hours & traveling, soooo December has had quite the start for us!

That all said, I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend about COMFY (cute) clothes.  They are basically ALL we want to wear during these colder months here in the Midwest.  I see women come into the boutique where I work on Thursdays (State of Grace) & they are immediately drawn to anything soft, longer (to cover the booty if worn with leggings), with a roomier fit.  In fact, when I think back to my last couple of purchases, they have fallen in those categories as well!  I mean, who wants to wear tight, thin, and uncomfortable fabrics when it’s 32 degrees outside?  So ladies….let’s be realistic – comfort is what we want…CUTE comfort, that is!

Here’s a round-up of some of my fave comfy styles!  These are all MUST HAVES!  Trust me!

American Eagle Aerie City Sweatshirt:  Hello American Eagle!  Who knew they made such CUTE loungewear?  I quickly purchased this slouchy sweatshirt (in camo, of course) after seeing it in a post on Instagram (darn that Liketoknowit app)!  I loooooove this style (and so many others)!  You NEED to check out their Aerie line.  Like head over NOW.  0743_9825_006_f

Gap Lace Up Tunnel Neck Hoodie:  Sold out in MANY sizes (probably thanks to a combo of Gap’s 50% sale(s) and the fact that this sweatshirt is just SO awesome), but if you can find this – BUY IT!  I recommend sticking to your normal size because I tried to size up thinking I wanted it a little more roomy, but I was swimming in the medium!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve already worn this hoodie – with both jeans and leggings.  In fact, I wore it on Thanksgiving!  Fancy!  (Pardon the quality of this pic – click the link to go directly to the Gap’s page.

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Pleione Embroidered Bishop Sleeve Sweatshirt:  I’m OBSESSED with this sweatshirt!  It was such a great find at Nordstrom Rack!  In fact, I think it looks so much cuter in person than it does here in the pic!  The sleeves are the best part & I get so many compliments when I wear it!  7288474

Relaxed Full Zip Fleece Hoodie:  Not sure why, but I’m obsessed with these basic zip up hoodies from Old Navy!?!?  I wear mine with my PJ’s, over workout clothes & will throw one on when I get home from a long day of subbing (and have to still clean the house).  So comfy, easy & inexpensive!  Pick up a few colors!  cn12160309

Are you seeing a trend with my color (or lack there of) selection?  I am a sucker for grey.  I definitely gravitate towards anything and everything grey when I’m out shopping & that “section” in my closet definitely stands out (as it’s the biggest)!!!!  Oh well!

Have any fave “comfy” clothes secrets to share with me?  I’d love to hear!  Send your suggestions my way!  It seems like that is the ONLY way I’m dressing these days!  Happy Friday!!!

xoxo – Jamie

 

P.S.  Here are a few other “comfy” items I’m keeping my eye on:

Target:

Fluffy Jersey PulloverFrench Terry Lurex Pullover Sweatshirt , Ruched Sleeve Hoodie

 

American Eagle Aerie:

Street Hoodie (Taupe), Downtown Sweatshirt (Rose), Dolman Plush Hoodie (Soft Muslin)

 

 

P.P.S My fave leggings?  Oh easy….. my Zella Live In Leggings.  I literally LIVE in them.  Get some immediately & then wear them everywhere like I do!  Don’t ask how many pairs (of black) I have!  It’s ridiculous!  They are seriously THE BEST.  _13459777

 

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Thankful.

IMG_2478What a YEAR it’s been for our family (and it’s not even over)!!!  Plenty of UPS, plenty of DOWNS, but one thing remains solid (gold):  FAMILY.  To think that this time last year we didn’t even know if and when we’d be adding another member to this merry crew, too!  On this (early) Thanksgiving morning, THESE are the people I wake up thankful for EVERY SINGLE DAY.  They simply make life go round.

And, I couldn’t post this without a special “singled out shout out” to my hubby.  If there is anyone who single handedly carried us through some really tough times this year, it’s been him.  His optimism, hard work and patience is truly commendable.  And, on the flipside, as my pessimism, slight depression & zero patience threatened to totally throw us off track, he was the one who picked up the pieces and helped carry me back to more peaceful waters.  For that, I am forever grateful. AliciaHughesPhotoCo-63

Whether you are enjoying the day with friends or family – – take a minute to stop & think about your blessings & have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!

xoxo – Jamie

Friday Favorites: The “Turning 40” Skincare Edition

Happy Friday friends!  Yes, it’s sad, but true – I am 1 day away from turning the big 4-0!  Honestly, I can’t believe it!  The age I ALWAYS think of when people ask how old I am is 34, soooo I’m stayin’ 34!!!

That said, there are a few skin / skincare products I am relying HEAVILY on as I enter my 40’s, and they are as follows:

IT Cosmetics  I’ve mentioned this brand before, but have since fallen in LOVE with their products.  I started with their Bye Bye Under Eye because I started feeling like my under eye area needed a little special attention & my goodness this product DELIVERS!  The tiniest amount worked like a charm!  No more dark circles!!!  Next, I moved on to their “famous” Your Skin But Better CC Cream.  I liked the fact that this product was infused with an anti-aging serum made of hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C and E.  I mean, all of that in a CC cream?  Yes, please!  Not to mention the fact that this CC cream has amazing coverage…..never cracks or creases!  Again, too, the TINIEST amount goes a LONG way!  It’s truly incredible!  The third product by IT that I am currently “waiting” to try is their Confidence In Your Glow which is a blush, bronzer & highlighter all in one palette!   I am in desperate need of both a good blush (that stays put) and bronzer, so I was immediately drawn to this product!  I love that fact that it includes a highlighter too!  I can’t wait to get it (just ordered it yesterday)!  I’ll share my “full review” soon, so stay tuned!  I just can’t say enough good things about these products & apparently I’m not the only one because they are receiving RAVE REVIEWS everywhere!  Follow IT and IT’s CEO Jamie Kern Lima on Instagram!  The transformation videos are INCREDIBLE!  (***IT is currently doing their “Friends and Family” promotion where you get 25% off all products and FREE SHIPPING on orders over $30!  Simply use the code:  ITFRIEND17 for the amazing discount!***)  In the future I’ll definitely share my own before / after, so stay tuned….

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(Whoops – almost forgot that I also use IT’s Bye Bye Poreless Finish Airbrush Powder to set my concealer & CC cream.  It seriously leaves your skin looking like you used a fancy Instagram filter.  It’s that good!  byebyepores_translucent_main

SELF TANNING:  I cringe when I think about all of the damage I probably did to my skin while I was in college – – – like MULTIPLE trips to the tanning bed each week!  Ugh!  That said, I still LOVE a good healthy glow & rely HEAVILY on self tanners to work their magic!  I admit, too, that I’ve tried TONS & have finally settled on ONE that I’d consider the BEST I’ve tried ….. It’s called Flawless by Fake Bake & it is incredible!  It’s a spray that you actually spray onto a glove to apply.  It’s seriously foolproof & the color is always perfect!  I use this product every other day & maintain a healthy glow all winter long!  LOVE it!  (Not to mention, it DOES NOT STINK!  Another HUGE bonus!)  It’s a #1 seller on Amazon & for under $13, you can’t beat the price!!!  Try it!!!!fake bake

Neutrogena Skincare & Botox (yes, Botox):  I’ve relied heavily on Neutrogena skincare products for several years.  Yes, I’ve also dabbled in some pricier lines (which definitely WORK), but I keep going back to good old Neutrogena.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed my skin has gotten more dry, the tone a little more uneven and those darn creases in my forehead have continued to multiply!  For my skin’s texture and tone, I use these four products:  1.  Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser (to cleanse/hydrate my skin AND remove makeup)  2.  Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair (AM) for uneven skin tone  4.   Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair with Retinol (PM) for fine lines & wrinkles   3. Neutrogena Dark Circle Repair for dark circles (works miracles quickly).  This little combo is GREAT (and all easily / inexpensively available via good old Amazon)!!  I highly recommend all of these Neutrogena products!  Next up….the BotoxI love it.   Now, would you have known if I hadn’t told you?  If you answered no….then, that’s the point AND my esthetician does a great / very conservative job!  I started getting Botox regularly a few years ago & haven’t looked back.  I don’t feel like the amount I get (forehead area – most of it, especially those lines between my brows) is that excessive.  I just think it makes me look more “refreshed.”  It’s definitely an investment, but one I feel I can justify if the results last up to 4 months AND it makes me feel better about myself.  If you’re considering Botox, my advice is to find someone you trust (recommendations from friends / family), don’t try to find the cheapest price (that can be sketchy), and start small.  I think the first time I had 20 units done which is like the bare minimum.  It allowed me to see just how good it looked with those pesky forehead lines smoothed out….and then I went back for more!  If you live here on the Northside of Indianapolis, I highly recommend Simply Skin.  Tell them Jamie sent you!

 

Body Lotion:  I know I’ve raved about the Coconut Body Butter from Trader Joe’s & I also LOOOOOOOVE the entire OGX line found at Target (yay!)  I use the Coconut Miracle Oil Lotion.  It smells AMAZING!

 

Phew….that’s a lot of products for this old bod!  Haha!  Seriously, though, this is all SUCH GOOD STUFF!  I highly recommend all of it (especially the Botox – haha)!!!

That’s it for this “old girl” on Friday afternoon!  I just got back from an amazing lunch at my fave spot (Patachou) with two of my fave ladies!  I hope you all have a great day & an even better weekend!  Cheers to 40!!

xo – Jamie

What’s Up Wednesday

Happy Hump Day friends!  How is it only Wednesday?  Goodness it feels like it should be at least Friday…..right?  That said, here’s what’s currently up at our house:

  1. We are adjusting to life with Chris traveling.  This will be our “new normal” here & I think we’re handling it pretty well!  I mean, the kids went from seeing Daddy EVERY DAY for 3 months, so it’s a little tough on them, but they also think it’s cool that he is jetting here/there (and they get to sleep with me when he’s gone)!  Honestly I’m just happy to see my husband so happy….even if that means he is gone a few days a week!  IMG_7665
  2. The big 4-0 is JUST around the corner for me, sooooo I kicked off the beginning of my “celebration” with a “hair day” yesterday after school.  Add my fresh highlights to my list of:  Crest Whitestrips, It’s a 10 & Botox & I’ll be good to go!  That is SERIOUSLY my birthday wish list!  Just a few staple items here….. IMG_8850
  3. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT week?  How in the world is that possible?  The month of November has flown by!  What are some staple items on your menu?  We are hosting this year & have a REALLY traditional menu planned (turkey, mashed potatoes (my favorite), corn casserole, green bean casserole and mandarin orange salad), but I’m SO tempted to make THIS chopped bacon & brussel sprout salad I saw on Instagram via Pinch of Yum the other day:  bacon-and-brussels-sprout-salad-2
  4. I’m headed to school all day today & despite waking up with PLENTY of time to get this body on the treadmill, I’m HOPING I can get a workout in later!  I started running (maybe not even regularly) last week & WOW my body hurts!  I’m trying to figure out how I can add that to my barre schedule & not almost die each week?

Anyway…..must start the morning grind by packing lunches!  That’s “what’s up” here on this rainy Wednesday!  More later this week!

xoxo – Jamie

Friday Favorites: Cold(er) Weather Edition

Happy Friday friends!  The HIGH here in Indianapolis is only 35 degrees!!!  Brrrr!!!!  I’ll be bundling my little people Christmas Story-style for sure!  That said, I thought I’d do a “Cold(er) Weather” edition of my Friday Favorites since “it’s here” and I don’t see another day above 50 degrees over the next week!

FASHION:  I have a few items I’ll share here!  It’s possible, too, that I’ve mentioned one or many of these in the past, but a refresher is always good, right?  1.  I’m obsessed with my North Face coat.  Since I substitute teach at my kid’s school, this coat was ESSENTIAL for recess duty & winter in general!  It’s SO warm, doesn’t feel bulky & actually looks super cute!  And, in terms of North Face prices, I think this style is pretty affordable! _1019718782.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you know that I am a FIRM believer in a Hunter boot investment!  They are PERFECT for wet AND cold weather (with special Hunter socks)!  I’ve had mine for YEARS and have only just this year considered replacing them with a new pair!  They are so durable & practical!  I looooove them!  Not to mention, you have to love the fun color selection!  I mean, you know I stick with my basics, but if you’re much more color adventurous than me, you’ll have so much fun picking out a pair or pairs! How cute are these in black glitter?  I could do that…..     _1020501003.  While my style remains pretty basic for cold weather, I have added a few new favorite sweaters to my closet this year.  Have you heard of the Dreamers by debut sweaters?  I’ve shared a few pics on Instagram of this sweater since we sell it at the boutique.  Truly, it’s amazing!  The softest, comfiest sweater EVER!  I love the V-neck style AND the fact that it’s a little oversized so that you can pull it off with leggings!  This brand also makes the same incredibly soft cardigans!  What’s funny about these sweaters is that they are popping up EVERYWHERE!  I’ve seen them on so many boutique sites I follow & most recently Nordstrom picked them up!  The boutique got a shipment on Wednesday & by the time I left yesterday at 3:15 they were almost completely sold out!  It’s a craze! Here I’m sporting my favorite beige with a dark grey bralette (both from State of Grace boutique of course)!!!  23316529_10214836093600031_4400543589217636205_nFOODIE:  I LOVE making soup(s) once the weather starts getting cooler!  They are so easy, versatile and HEALTHY!!!  My “go to’s” are always chicken noodle (made with rotisserie chicken and gluten-free noodles), chicken tortilla (pretty sure my recipe changes every time I make it), minestrone and stuffed pepper.  Here’s a link to the incredibly EASY and delicious stuffed pepper soup.  I typically prepare the rice on the side for my kiddos!  stuffed-pepper-soup-srgbFAMILY:  Last year we took the kiddies to Chicago over fall break & although we FROZE, it’ll always be one of my favorite little getaways.  We had SO MUCH FUN & my kids totally fell in love with the city.  Growing up we traveled to Chicago often since my Dad had a showroom at the Merchandise Mart.  We enjoyed amazing meals, shopping, and what kid doesn’t love staying in hotels?  Such great memories!  I hope we can get back up there (even in this cold weather) this year so that we can enjoy some of the holiday decorations (and do some Christmas shopping)!  Recommendations?  Shake Shack, Eataly (probably my fave in Chicago – for real), American Girl, Navy Pier (if it’s not too cold), Stan’s Donuts, Garrett’s (famous) popcorn, Lego Store,  Michigan Avenue, Museum of Science & Industry,  and Lou Malnati’s. IMG_8534

FUN:  We trek around the neighborhood in our golf cart (frequently).  Whether it’s to pick up a kid from a friend’s house or to visit with family friends, we love being able to hop in the cart instead of the car.  The hubs has weather-proofed our cart with a cover (purchased on Amazon, of course) AND heater!  Now, give me my North Face, Uggs & a warm cocktail & I’m set!  Just like summer, but without the shorts and glass of Chardonnay!  IMG_9068

That’s it for this chilly Friday!  I hope everyone enjoys their weekend bundled up with family!  We put our Christmas decorations up last weekend, but have yet to decorate the tree!  Maybe we’ll get around to doing that this weekend!  My kiddies are already SO excited for the upcoming holiday season!  They are so festive!

xoxo Jamie

Why Not Try It? Tuesday

I think I had mentioned how I REALLY got out of the swing of things in the kitchen over the last 3 months, right?  Like there was a lot of really random eating going on here, not unhealthy really, just RANDOM.  Thankfully my hubby jumped in on several occasions and wowed us with his skills in the kitchen because I was not earning any gold stars!  It’s funny how stress has a way of messing with the stuff you normally LOVE to do, and actually even tries to make it feel like a chore or another burden.  That said, I’m ending my cooking rut NOW.  With the holidays around the corner (yay!), I’m back on Pinterest & checking in with my favorite Instagram foodie bloggers for inspiration!  I’m tired of my “random” cooking ways!  In an effort to kick off the week on a healthy note, I made chicken burrito bowls last night for dinner & they received rave reviews from the family!  I looked a ton of recipes on Pinterest for inspiration, then just ended making up my own combo of “bowl items.”  

Chicken Burrito Bowls

1 lb. of chicken breast strips

2 cups of long grain rice, cooked

1 can of black beans, drained

1 can of corn, drained

1 can of diced tomatoes with chiles, drained

1/2 red onion, chopped

cilantro, to taste – chopped

1/2 avocado, diced

juice of 1 lime

cheese of choice – shredded Mexican blend, cotija, etc.

sour cream

salsa

Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning /Garlic / Salt + Pepper

 

First off, if you haven’t tried Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend, RUSH to your nearest TJ’s to pick it up!  I use it weekly!!!  It has the best combo of spices which are perfect for both Tex Mex and Mexican dishes!  It’s SO good!Here’s what I did:  1.  Cut chicken breast strips into bite size pieces & put into bowl with olive oil and a generous couple of shakes of the Chile Lime Seasoning.  Set aside to marinade.  2.  Prepare rice according to directions.  (Cauliflower rice would be a GREAT alternative to brown or long grain rice).  3. Combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion, diced avocado and chopped fresh cilantro.  Drizzle combo with olive oil, more glorious TJ’s chile lime seasoning, juice of 1 lime, salt, pepper & garlic powder.  Set aside.  4.  Put chicken into skillet & cook until done.  5.  Assemble “bowls” by starting with rice, then topping with chicken, tomato/corn/beans mixture and any/all additional toppings listed.  Enjoy!  You seriously can’t mess these up!  The topping possibilities are endless!  My kiddies enjoyed tortilla chips on the side, too, of course!

The leftovers from this are incredible – lunches for days!  Also, here are some links to more “bowl” style recipes I will be trying:

Spicy Shrimp Burrito Bowls

Teriyaki Chicken Bowls

Cuban Chicken Bowls

Chicken Shawarma with Quinoa Bowls

Turkey Taco Burrito Bowls

Have a great bowl recipe?  Send it my way!  I’d love to try it!

xoxo – Jamie

 

“Things You Might Not Know About Me” Monday

HAPPY MONDAY!!!!

Okay, I vowed to get back to my blogging ways, and what better way than to re-introduce myself (by sharing a bunch of random things)?  Who knows, maybe we share the same loves / hates?  Let’s chat about ’em if we do!

To get us started, here are the basics:  I’m Jamie – wife to Chris, mommy to Maguire (Mac) and Parker (Rosie).  We live on the Northside of Indianapolis (but dream about South Florida constantly).  My hubby is a hard working regional sales manager in the commercial & industrial filtration industry, an avid golfer & lover of anything related to fishing and Florida.  I work part time as a substitute teacher at my kiddies school and 1x a week at a local clothing boutique owned by two girlfriends.  I love fitness (currently obsessed with barre classes), (healthy) food & cooking, family, friends and Florida (see a trend here?)!  Mac, our first born, is a smarty pants, an amazingly talented golfer and basically the coolest 9 year old around.  Parker is our beautiful, high energy comedian who loves ballet, gymnastics, slime & Snapchat!  These are my people – they are my entire life: Now, 20 random facts you might not  know:

  1. I lived in California (Beverly Hills) for 1 year before I moved home & met Chris at my “welcome home” party.
  2. I went to a small private college in Southern Indiana called Hanover College.  I started out wanting to be pre med, but since that required passing Chemistry, I switched to Business!
  3. While I LOVE fitness and eating healthy, I do have two vices I absolutely REFUSE to give up (and I’m okay with):  coffee creamer (like the really fake, sugary, chemically kind) & wine (Chardonnay in warm temps & Pinot Noir in cooler temps).  Sorry, no one is taking them away.
  4. Wearing bright colors makes me cringe.  My closet is full of black, gray, beige, dark green, blush, white……and camo.
  5. I love attending professional golf tournaments & I love Tiger Woods even more.  Sorry, not sorry.  I mean, have you been within 3 feet of him?  If not, get back to me with your opinion once you have been!
  6. I also have an appreciation for exotic cars – thanks to my Dad & my husband.  Too bad I’m stuck with a mom ride (for now)…..got to love my Highlander!
  7. Naples, Florida is my favorite city – I would live there in a heartbeat.  It’s a close second to any beachy city in Southern California.
  8. I wear makeup to the gym.  Always have, always will.  Ask my college friendsies.  I’m sure they remember me on the treadmill running for hours on end with my lipstick, eyeliner and mascara!
  9. My mom and I are best friends.  She is the very best person I know.
  10. Christmas is my favorite season / holiday & Christmas Blend coffee from Starbucks is THE BEST.
  11. I don’t have a single decorating gene in my body.  I love fashion, but don’t take me in a HomeGoods.  It’s waaay too overwhelming.
  12. I’ve been in a “very serious” long distance relationship with basically a younger version of myself for over 9 years now.  My girlfriend Price is the younger sister I never had, but one of my dearest friends.  I can (and do) tell her EVERYTHING.
  13. While I love cars, I HATE driving!  I have a serious road rage problem & like to keep inside my bubble.
  14. My absolute favorite lunch spot in Indy is Café Patachou where I always order the same:  1/2 chopped cobb with tomato artichoke soup.
  15. If I had to pick ONE type of food to eat the rest of my life & it would be calorie free I would pick pizza, of course.
  16. I LOVE coffee….like MUST HAVE IT as soon as I wake up every morning.
  17. I’m a morning person.
  18. I never attended church regularly UNTIL I was introduced to itown church 5 years ago.  It’s been life-changing.
  19. I can get totally side-tracked by watching Instastories, but am too scared to do one myself!
  20. I turn 40 in less than 2 weeks.

Phew….there’s 20.  More to come!

Enjoy!

xoxo – Jamie

 

 

Back To Business: Friday Favorites

First off, I’d like to thank all of you for all of your sweet comments about my “Phone Calls & Footsteps” post.  I’m truly blessed to have such an amazing support system.  For those of you who bravely reached out to me, sharing your own “dark season” stories – I’m so touched.  It’s so easy to get caught up in ONLY what we “see” on social media.  Sure, we managed to “look” like we had everything together for the past 3 months, but isn’t it almost refreshing to now KNOW otherwise?  Gosh it felt good to be vulnerable and REAL.  So, thank you from the very bottom of my heart!!!  I’m so excited to be MOVING FORWARD & can’t wait to get back to sharing here on the blog!  It’s been WAY too long!!!

Let’s start with some Friday Favorites, shall we?  Heck I should just name this blog Friday Faves considering it’s about the only thing I’ve been posting for a while!  Hmmm….let me think on that……

FAMILY:  If you are local (and have young kids), I highly recommend making the effort to get to the Headless Horseman festivities at Conner Prairie.  As you might know, we attempted to go over Fall Break & literally turned around as soon as we got into the parking lot because it was so crazy, and our hayride for the Headless Horseman wouldn’t be until AFTER 11pm!  We went back last Saturday & were able to get right in and on the 7pm ride, and it was perfect!  The kiddies also loved the huge corn maze & various other activities they had around the village.  My tips for attending next year are:  1.  Don’t go on a Thursday or Sunday.  Those are “Member” days & season ticket holders for Conner Prairie get in for free.  2.  Don’t go during Fall Break because everyone who didn’t go somewhere for fall break will be there.  3.  GO when the weather is kind of iffy – bundle up & you’ll be just fine!  4.  Buy your tickets in advance online.  5.  Gates open at 6, so try to arrive (and wait in line….yuck) by 5:30 or even earlier.  6.  There is a ticket swap inside the gates, so if you DO get on a super early or super late hay ride, chances are there is someone who is willing to swap with you!  7.  Dress warmly & pull out your Hunter boots if it’s been cold/rainy.  8.  Enjoy!  It’s such a fun seasonal event for the family!!!

FASHION/FACE:  I picked up THIS olive off the shoulder waffle knit with dolman sleeves yesterday at State of Grace.  It’s AMAZING (and comes in 2 other colors – gray & mauve)!!!  You can wear it covering both shoulders as more of a cowl neck, but here I’m sporting it with a charcoal bralette (also from State of Grace, of course).  I sized up (to a medium) in this so that I could pull it down over my bum with leggings!  Oh, also – in this pic I’m wearing the most perfect pair of jeans!  They are KanCan brand, the mid-rise distressed & they fit like a glove!  You wouldn’t believe how many women I’ve introduced these wonderful jeans to – they are seriously THAT good (and….at under $50, you can’t beat the price)!!!  Hurry in to State of Grace for these gems too!  IMG_3337 I also had to add FACE to this section because I FINALLY tried IT Cosmetics!  I had been reading such rave reviews from fellow bloggers about various products by It & after seeing a few pics of myself, I felt like I needed to bring in the “big guns” to deal with under eye darkness & uneven skin tone.  I mean, as I told a girlfriend – I AM almost 40.  Sooo, into Sephora I went & out I walked with IT’s Bye Bye Under Eye and two samples of their famous Your Skin But Better CC Cream (I couldn’t decide between the “illuminating” or “matte”).  I was shocked by what a huge difference these two products made to my skin!  It was glorious!  I HIGHLY recommend these products – both are skin-changing.  I can’t wait to try more It products (and will share my reviews here)!  cc_cream_wcap_us_medium_main-min_1 byebyeundereye_main_5

FOODIE:  Last weekend I made the most delicious Sunday dinner (if I do say so myself)!  The hubby was heading out of town for the entire week, so I wanted to make something nice before he was off!  I decided on a roast chicken because I also wanted mashed potatoes & the two just go hand in hand, right?  When I was recipe searching I knew JUST the lady to consult for a really great roast chicken recipe – my bestie Ina Garten!  If you know Ina at all, you also know that every Friday night she makes roast chicken for her husband Jeffrey (yes, I DVR her shows & watch them while I cook, so I know lots about those two)!  I picked her “perfect roast chicken” recipe & it was just that…..perfect!  The house smelled amazing within minutes of popping it in the oven.  Such a perfect Sunday dinner!  Here’s a link to the recipe:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-roast-chicken-recipe-1940592 & a peek at what mine looked like:We had mashed potatoes, corn (something we don’t have often, but the kids and hubby LOVE) and green beans alongside this amazing chicken!  Oh, a glass of my new favorite red blend, too – it’s 19 Crimes “The Uprising” & it’s SO good!  Pick some up ASAP!  It’s red wine weather, you know!

FITNESS / FUN:  Today was one of those “best days” -!!!  My girlfriend Tracy and I were able to take the day off together & just do a bunch of things we enjoy.  We started with a barre class at our fave studio (B Present Fishers), swung into the little brow salon we frequent for much-needed threading (I literally apologized to the gal for the state of mine – that’s how overdue I was), hit up our fave brunch spot (Café Patachou) for coffee, a MUCH-needed (and deserved) mimosa & just the best brunchie eats around.  After that deliciousness, we browsed through our local Nordstrom Rack & both started Christmas shopping for the kiddies (suuuuuch good deals on Under Armour for our boys & Zella Girls for the gals).  Then, as if that wasn’t already good enough, we strolled through Trader Joes and The Fresh Market for some “essentials” (coffee, hummus, cauliflower crust, wine, etc.)  Of course we laughed and eye-rolled though the day & had an absolute blast!  It was AWESOME – thank you Jesus!  Seriously – so good, so needed.

As I start to get back on track with my blogging, feel free to suggest what types of content you’d like to see more of  here – I’m open to any/all suggestions!  I feel like I used to share so many MORE recipes, but took a small hiatus from the kitchen for a bit.  Honestly, my hubby made the most amazing things for us over the last couple of months – filet with béarnaise and asparagus for our anniversary, these incredible tuna, cucumber and avocado stacks with spicy sriracha aioli, and these super yummy teriyaki flank steak skewers!  Seriously – he killed it in the kitchen!  I need to get my cooking groove back badly!  Maybe with the holidays being around the corner it’ll help?  Let’s hope!  That said, let me know what YOU want to see/read about here!

Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!  Thanks again for all of your love & support!

xoxo – Jamie

 

Phone Calls & Footsteps…..

I’ve imagined myself writing this post for 3 months now….the title, what I’d say, how I’d feel writing it, and the tears that would flow while writing.  As some of you may have noticed, I took a temporary hiatus from blogging, and quite honestly “real life.”  In short, and without a lot of detail, – – upon return from our truly BLISSFUL 3 week vacation in Naples, my husband lost his job.  Goodbye 20 years of blood, sweat & tears…..it was over.  Were we shocked?  Well……not entirely due to the circumstances.  I mean, you might even say my husband felt a great sense of relief (again, for many reasons).  So, as a good wifey, I started out optimistic, supportive & hopeful. I put my happy face on, gave resume advice, researched jobs in his field and even kept myself open to relocation (to Florida).

As time went on, you could say my sense of optimism started waning….I knew we were entering one of those dark seasons….I felt it.  As we dealt with interviews, recruiters, and uncertainty I could feel the life being sucked out of me.  I was sinking and grasping for God’s hand – praying constantly while KNOWING and REPEATING to myself “This too, shall pass.”  It just had to pass.  Week after week, I’d listen for Chris’ phone to ring – hopeful the news on the other end would be delivering the answer to our prayers.  I’d wait to hear footsteps coming up or down the stairs to tell me the “good news.”  While I had confided in a small group of close friends, I found myself starting to avoid those that were closest to me for fear that I’d break in front of them.  This was NOT ME.  My fuse at home got shorter and shorter….my fear of the unknown started swallowing me.  All of the “what if’s” consumed my thoughts.  I’d lay in bed at night praying & fighting off those dark “worst case scenario” thoughts.  As time went by, the severance stopped & let’s just say “shit got real.”  One of these opportunities HAD to work out.  Time was NOT on our side, but you know who was, right?

Almost out of no where Chris got “the call” we had been waiting for – THE role he had gone into the “job search” seeking, the one that is PERFECT for him, was now HIS.  (While this certainly didn’t happen overnight, the interview/offer process WAS put on the fast track, for a large company, due to Chris’ knowledge and expertise in his industry.)  THIS WAS IT!  Our prayers had been answered!  We could STAY here in Indiana with our family AND the hubs would be taking on an incredible role with a very large, established company!  This too, HAD passed – I could see the dark clouds clearing…I could feel the weight being lifted off BOTH of our shoulders.  We are so thankful for friends and family who prayed for us and stuck by our side during this season.  Goodness it was rough, but we made it!  This weekend at church I will YET AGAIN thank itown’s “prayer team” for another prayer ANSWERED!  Week after week I’ve included my husband & his job search in their “prayer requests,” just like I had in the past for several other very “close to me” matters, KNOWING that those prayers would eventually be answered.  I’m adding this one to the long list!  Prayer works friends….it works.

Again, thank you FRIENDS and FAMILY for your support during this season.  As we (happily) adjust to a new normal with Chris’ new position which will most likely include lots of travel, I hope to slowly get back to sharing real life on here.

For any of you going through a similar “dark season” – I’m praying for you.  Keep your chin up & keep your faith VERY first!

xoxo – Jamie

P.S.  As many of you ALSO know, I’ve mixed a few things up in my life during this “interesting” time!  1.  I joined a new gym & totally changed up my fitness routine.  B Present Studio has been such a HUGE blessing – between the amazing instructors AND incredible ladies I’ve met, I just KNOW that God, once again, had this all planned.  There were days I’d show up to class filled with anxiety and leave with a renewed sense of peace and hope. My girls at B Present are life-giving, supportive, AMAZING women.  I cannot thank all of you enough!!!!   2.  In addition to my weekly “subbing” at my kid’s school, I started working 1 day a week at a lovely boutique owned by two beautiful friends – State of Grace.  If you know me, you also know that I LOVE fashion, clothes and shopping.  When I learned that my friend (and barre instructor) was going to be opening this boutique super close to our house, I knew I wanted to help out!  Soooo, what started as doing a little modeling of their clothing has turned into such a fun job for me!  I look forward to spending my Thursdays at State of Grace!  Not to mention – they have the CUTEST clothes!  Heaven!!!!  Fishers friends – come see me!

P.P.S.  A huge thank you to my husband….my best friend, my partner in crime, everything.  Your patience, level headedness and optimism are such admirable traits.  You are so smart, so talented & I just know this is your time to SHINE.  This is what we’ve been waiting (and praying for).  Thank you for putting up with me, comforting me and carrying US through this.  We love you so much & are SO proud of you!!!!

Friday Favorites!!!

Is it just me, or does it feel like we had a full work/school week?  Were we really off for Labor Day?  Oh well….we made it to Friday & that’s all that matters, right?  Our holiday weekend flew by & we definitely enjoyed plenty of family, friends & food!  Pretty typical!  We’re experiencing some amazing fall-like temps here in the Midwest this week & I’m loving that you can basically step out in just about anything (clothes-wise) and be comfy!  I love 60-70 degree weather!

With a busy couple of weeks ahead of us (2 mini trips in 2 totally different parts of the US in a matter of 7 days — eeek!), I wanted to make sure I got a Friday Faves post out because I DO have several “favorites” to share with you!

FITNESS:  (I realized I cannot do without my barre classes & will be back for another month….or forever.)  Last night I joined up with a group of girlfriends for a special 1 hour barre class at a local winery here in the Fishers-area – Daniel’s VineyardWho knew this little gem existed?  The vineyard & winery were gorgeous!  I felt like I had left Fishers & was flown directly to Santa Barbara!  What a gorgeous, hidden property!  Class was an intense 1 hour, but the huge room where we did class was GORGEOUS – a perfect space for wedding receptions & parties Fishers friends! After B Present owner, Tammy Weisweaver, had succeeded in kicking our booties (completely), we were dismissed out on to a gorgeous balcony outside of the banquet room for wine – yay!  While the workout was great & much needed, the girlfriend time + wine therapy was pretty top notch too!  I’m so thankful I’ve 1.  Been successful in converting my girlfriend Tracy to a lover of barre and 2.  Have met this amazing group of women – all thanks to barre!  I’m pretty sure our laughs carried across the vineyard last night!  Thanks so much for putting such a fun event together B Present Studio!  Let’s do it again (soon)!   Fishers friends – you MUST check Daniel’s Vineyard out!  They have tons of upcoming events (and wine slushies)!  Cheers!

FOODIE:  I’ve definitely shared my love of Halo Top on the blog before, but did you know I have a new favorite flavor?  I scored the limited edition PUMPKIN PIE at our local Fresh Thyme today!  Hello!  I’m such a sucker for ANYTHING pumpkin, and this flavor does NOT disappoint!  I popped the lid off as soon as I got home & gave it a try, of course!  The bonus?  ALL Halo Top is “buy one, get one free” at FT!  If that isn’t the deal of the century, I don’t know what is!  Hurry out & scoop this flavor up friends! 

FASHION:  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that I have two friends who are opening a boutique here in Fishers – State of Grace Boutique.  A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to help them out with some pics sporting a selection of what they will be offering in their boutique.  Yep, I had a little “preview” & let me tell you, these gals have picked out some AMAZING things!From yummy fall cardigans, comfy dresses, booties, to perfect fitting denim, this boutique is going to be “the place” to pop in & walk out with an amazing fall wardrobe!  They plan on having their Grand Opening on September 16th & will be open that day from 10am – 7pm!  Another “must check out” my Fishers friends!  Don’t be surprised, too, if you see a familiar face there too!  I’m SO excited for these ladies!  (Be sure to follow State of Grace Fishers on Instagram!)

FAMILY/FUN:  First up on our “2 mini trips in 7 days” list is our annual trek to the BMW Championship!  Chris and I have been attending this golf tournament together for the last 4 years!  This year the tournament is back in one of our favorite Midwestern cities – Lake Forest, IL!  This will be our 3rd visit to Lake Forest & I cannot wait!  It is the PERFECT, dreamy, beautiful Midwestern city!  Plus, get this, temps are predicted to be in the glorious low 70’s!  It doesn’t get any better than 70 and sunny for a day on the course!  Not to mention, BMW certainly goes ALL OUT when it comes to patrons attending this tournament – – – you’ve gotta love perks, right?  Hoping for a cute (black)hat this year!  (Too bad my man Tiger won’t be there……)

I hope everyone has a GREAT Friday, into an even better weekend!  I’m gearing up for a crazy 2 weeks, but I’m feeling really good about all that’s to come!!!  Stay tuned for updates from beautiful Lake Forest next week!  I’m telling you, that city is just lovely!  As for the trip after that one?  You’ll find out soon enough….

xoxo – Jamie

P.S.  We are praying for everyone in Florida – stay safe friends!  I’m begging Irma to steer clear of our happy place……