Friday Faves: #sidelined Edition


Happy Friday friends!  I’m trying a new editor for my blog post this morning, so bear with me!  If you read my post from earlier this week, you also know that I am slowly, but surely recovering from the inguinal hernia surgery I had last Friday.  Wow!  It’s already been a week since that lovely experience!  Since I’ve been off work all week, I thought for sure this week would drag by, but surprisingly it’s FLOWN!  Hmmm….what’s that telling me?  Somehow I’ve managed to fill my days here away from school, which I was really quite worried about!  Of course filling my days has consisted of LOTS of rest, LOTS of Netflix and LOTS of still feeling quite sore and yucky.  I think that if I felt 100% I’d definitely have a harder time “staying home” like I have.  That all said, I have managed to come up with a few favorites for the past week – let’s call this my “#sidelined Edition” because these are some lazy favorites!  If you follow me on Facebook or even Instagram, you’ve seen bits and pieces of these favorites throughout the week.  I hope to do better next week (because fingers crossed I’m feeling more like myself.  You know I am DYING to get back to my workouts (in fact, I picked a walk OVER Patachou this morning….that’s how badly I need exercise in my life)!!!  Now onto the faves…..

Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte WITH Almond Milk:  Yesterday was my first day driving in a WEEK and my first time driving since my surgery, soooo I treated myself (and I mean TREATED b/c this baby was not cheap….a far cry from my usual “dark roast with room”) to a latte at Starbucks.  I’m still not eating a ton, so this just sounded GOOD to me.  Holy smokes – it did not disappoint!  SO good!  Before I really started watching my dairy intake (and budget), I would order regular (with nonfat milk) Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes all the time.  I had forgotten how delicious that cinnamon dolce flavor is!  Since they will now do your drinks with coconut or almond milk, I thought – HEY let’s give this a whirl!  It was amazing!  I highly recommend this on your next Starbucks run! (Yes, I’m sure there are tons of “make at home” recipes for this too – they are just never the same!)12-04-01-skinnycinnamondolcelatte-starbucks

OPI’s Pompeii Purple Polish:  My OTHER goal destination yesterday was to get my nails done (I do gel manicures.) & I was in the mood for a “springy” new color….definitely a pink.  I went through the hundreds of color samples & came across one I loved & when I located the bottle to read the name of the color I had to laugh – I am such a creature of habit!  This was one that I’ve used and LOVED before….probably even last summer & I had totally forgotten about it!  Pompeii Purple!  I don’t think there’s anything “purple” about this color – it’s just PERFECT!  I went ahead and did my toes too since it’s going to be over 70 here today (yay)!!!!  I’m loving it!

pompeii purple

Halo Top Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream:  All I have to say about this is HURRY OUT & PICK UP THIS FLAVOR IMMEDIATELY!  Ignore the almost $6 price tag because it is 100% worth every penny!  I’m not a huge dessert lover, but I have been known to replace a meal here or there with frozen yogurt (dealing with the belly issues afterwards)!  We’ve done several other flavors of Halo Top (and loved each and every one….Mint Chip, Birthday Cake, Lemon Cake), but this is a peanut butter lover’s dream!  Despite the fact that the entire container is only 320 calories, I eat this in the tiniest portions as to make it last as long as possible!  It’s a great after dinner treat….again, in small portions!  I’ll never give Arctic Zero a second glance….Halo Top is where it’s at!  IMG_0381

Camo Joggers:  Confession…..I actually bought these pants about a year ago, wore them 1x and said “never again.”  I just thought they made someone with athletic/muscular legs (like myself) look weird.  The cuff at the ankle just wasn’t working for me (back then).  I had a change of heart this past week as I dug through my drawers looking for something, anything that would be cute & comfortable to wear post surgery.  I have 3 small incisions in my stomach from the laparoscopic procedure (super cute).  I pulled these out & decided to give them another chance since it seems like everyone is sporting joggers (and looking cute in them).  I’m not sure how my body has changed over the past year, but surprisingly I put them on & adjusted the waist band (rolled it over to shorten the leg/make the waist smaller) & voila – they were super cute & comfy!  Who knew?  I’m eating my words about “never wearing joggers” right now b/c I totally rocked these pants for 2 days!  Now, of course I bought the pair I own at Target & they no longer carry them.  I did, however, find a VERY similar pair by Z Supply – check ’em out!   5f631179ca44f6168d68c73494f2fe7b


My (super) cute nephew Teddy:  I mean, seriously….was he not the cutest visitor I had all week?  This baby just melts my heart!  IMG_0361

Now that you are all smiling…..I mean, how could you not be?  Have a GREAT Friday into an even better weekend!  It’s a long overdue “hair day” for me & you bet I’ll be (carefully) skipping into my stylist’s salon!  Back to blonde today, baby!  Can’t wait!  See….things ARE looking up!

xoxo – Jamie


Hi friends!  I’m sharing a quick post as it’s super uncomfortable for me to sit up in a regular chair for long periods of time!!  That said, YES – I had my hernia repair surgery on Friday & NO I’m still not feeling great – unfortunately!  So much for that painless “minor” surgery that hoped for, right?  Ugh!  Here’s a quick recap of my surgery day on Friday (oh, Happy St. Patty’s Day to me):

  1.  Wake up at 6:30.  NO coffee or food after midnight, so I powered thru kid’s lunch-packing & hopped in the shower.  There was a “no makeup” rule also for the surgery, so I quickly got ready with the tiniest bit of contraband applied (a little under eye concealer, bronzer & lipstick).  We got the kiddies ready & shipped them to the neighbor’s house so that we could be out the door by 8am.
  2. 8:30am check in at the hospital where they did all the standard stuff – checked vitals (where I backed onto the scale and warned them “not to tell me” like I normally do), had me change into that lovely hospital gown & super sexy “no slip” socks, and started an IV (my least fave part of surgery).
  3. 9:15 surgeon check in to see if I had any questions (was she SURE she couldn’t just go ahead and do a tummy tuck while she was in there?) & meeting with the anesthesiologist (a guy this time – great.) where he asked me not once but twice if I had any dental issues or cracked teeth?  Weird!
  4. 10am – they wheeled me back to the surgery “suite” where they did a bunch of weird things, covered me with a warm blanket, gave me some oxygen & the rest was history b/c I feel into that lovely, deep sleep.
  5. 10:45am – I wake up, request a Diet Coke, eat a few graham crackers, pop a pain pill & the hubs and I are sent home.  We are home by 12:00!!
  6. Rest of the day Friday – I’m continue to be surprised by just how much pain I’m in despite the pain medication they gave me (Norco).  Whoever said it was best to “walk” didn’t consider that when it feels like you’ve had your stomach punched a million times, the best you can do is shuffle everywhere.  Not to mention, the “getting up/down” process might be the most difficult of all.  Oh, and try NOT using your stomach muscles for just about everything.  It’s really easy.  Not

Soooo, since Friday I’ve proceeded to:  eat the equivalent of maaaaaaybe 2 meals, shuffle around the house here and there trying to attempt to do something/anything productive that doesn’t involve lifting or pushing (nearly impossible), pop pain meds, watch excessive amounts of Netflix, drink copious amounts of water and sleep.  I’m super thankful for all the help I’ve had around here with the kiddies, meals, etc.  I had no idea I would be THIS incapacitated from this “minor” surgery.  That week she insisted that I would need to take off from work…..yep, I get it now.

To all my fellow fitness lovers – pick up those weights mindfully!  I have no idea what I was doing so oddly that day I felt this happen, maybe just something slightly off, but it sure took its toll!

I’m hoping to be back to classes / cardio in 2 weeks, and until then….I’ll be shuffling around here, trying to heal & get better.  (Oh, and it’s also been #straighthairdontcare here for days……)

xoxo – Jamie

The List….

It would figure that JUST as I start really ramping up my workouts that I’d be sidelined by something else…..The culprit, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post is an annoying sports (inguinal) hernia (probably from lifting something weird).  I’m set to have surgery this Friday (prayers & good wishes appreciated) morning & will then begin a 2 week recovery period.  From what my surgeon tells me, I’ll be pretty sore and won’t feel like doing much next week.  In fact, I won’t be working at all next week!  Yikes!  I’m hoping for brighter news post surgery, however – you know, maybe the hernia is tiny & they foresee a very small window of recovery before I’m back to being my active self!  Wishful thinking never hurt anyone, right?  That said, with Friday quickly approaching, I’m starting to think about WHAT THE HECK I’ll do all next week!  I mean, it’s no secret that I’m a self-proclaimed Netflix-lover!  I can binge watch like the best of them, BUT the problem is….I have watched just about EVERY series I’ve been told to watch!  No joke!  Want to see my list?  (In order from FAVORITE to least fave……)

  1.  House of Cards (watched 2x) – it’s seriously just THAT good.  Kevin Spacey & Robin Wright are INCREDIBLE.
  2. Breaking Bad – Who doesn’t love Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul)? 
  3. Sons of Anarchy – Another one I’ve watched 2x!  So good!   
  4. Bloodline – Coach Taylor is amazing as John Rayburn! 
  5. The Killing – super dark, but super incredible! 
  6. Dexter
  7. The Following – Kevin Bacon…so good!
  8. Friday Night Lights – Because….Coach Taylor!
  9. Prison Break
  10. Orange Is The New Black
  11. The Crown
  12. Wentworth

Goodness, there are probably even a few I might have forgotten.  See!  I told you it was a long, but beautiful, list!  If you are show-hunting, I highly recommend ALL of these for different reasons!

So now that you know my list, I need YOUR HELP –  what can’t I live without watching next week??  Suggestions need to be Netflix-only.  So….ready, set, GO!!!!  I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

Thanks friends!

xoxo – Jamie


Restaurant Review: Verde

Cheers to SUNDAY (one that feels like a SATURDAY since we have a 3-day weekend here)!  We had to roll our clocks forward last night & my goodness it was DARK when I woke up at 7am – boo!  I’m still undecided about the whole daylight savings-thing.  I mean, is it wrong that I prefer more light EARLIER as opposed to LATER?  I’m a morning person, people!  Anyway……last night we took the kiddies out to dinner & tried a new Mexican restaurant here in Fishers called Verde.  The hubs LOVES Mexican, so all it took was showing him a few pics a friend had taken of their meal earlier in the week & he game to give this place a whirl!  Both he and I scoped out the menu before we left the house & I already knew a jalapeno margarita would be something I’d have to try!  (Hey, it’s the weekend!)  They did a great job remodeling & redecorating the interior of the space (formerly Friaco’s – not a place we frequented), but my goodness it is TINY!  Thankfully we were seated pretty quickly & the kids were appeased with bottomless chips & salsa (of course)!!!  The hubs and I ordered 2 margaritas – mine was the jalapeno (spicy & light) & his was the Don Julio (tasty – richer in flavor than mine) & the fresh guacamole to start!  I mean, how can you pass up guacamole?  For dinner we kept it pretty light because we knew the kiddies would stuff themselves with chips & the guacamole would also be pretty filling, sooooo Mac ordered 2 tacos, Park had a cheese quesadilla, I had the chicken tortilla soup (which was just ok….I think my recipe is better!), and the hubs had 3 of their street tacos (the Mole (chicken), Asada (steak) & Pastor (pork).  As usual, the hubs hit the jackpot with his choice(s)!  The tacos were great!  The Mole & Pastor were by far the best of his 3 choices!  We left super full & happy!  If you live in the area, definitely give this place a whirl!  We’ll be back for sure! Seems funny that I started off this post about Mexican food, but originally had planned on writing about my BBQ chicken pizza recipe!  Whoops!  Since the two are so UN-related (other than being food), I’ll save that recipe for a rainy day (like next week when I’m home recovering from my surgery)!  So, stay tuned!

In the meantime, we’re headed to visit the hubby at the Flower & Patio show (their new business has a booth) & do a little shopping with Mimi!  It’s bound to be a great Sunday!  Hope you guys have a great one too!

xoxo – Jamie

Friday Faves

Happy Friday friends!  We’re about to head into another 3 day weekend here – YAY!!!!  While I’m sad that my kiddies never really got to “play” in the snow this year, I’m certainly not mad about these “flex days” that we get to use up now because we didn’t have any snow days!  Having Monday’s off just makes for such a BETTER week, don’t you think?  That said, next week will be interesting for us – – I’ll be “celebrating” St. Patrick’s Day by having surgery!  So please pray and send good vibes for a speedy recovery – I’d really appreciate it!  I’ll be home recovering ALL the following week, so if I’m feeling up to it, I’ll try to get a few more blog posts out!  Oh, and if you have any series on Netflix (that I haven’t watched….) that you’d like to recommend – please share away!  I’m almost through Breaking Bad for the 2nd time, so once that’s done, I’ll def. need something new!  For the record I’ve watched the following (proudly):  Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, House of Cards (my fave), Bloodline, The Killing, The Following, Orange is the New Black, Wentworth, Narcos, Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, Nurse Jackie, Prison Break, The Fall, The Crown & Mad Men.

Now, because I’m running short on time….how about a few favorites from this week?

My discovery:  As you guys know, we’re going to Naples in June (no Spring Break for us), and I had been stressing about the fact that I’d need some new swimsuits this year.  While I think my days sporting a bikini might be over (YES, I could def. wear one, but feeling comfortable in one is another story…..), I’m thrilled to see that there are some incredibly CUTE one pieces out there!  Just when I ALMOST pulled the trigger on THIS suit (gulp….for $138 – I mean it better be PERFECT), I came across a promoted link to Cupshe on Facebook!  What timing!  I couldn’t believe how CUTE and INEXPENSIVE the suits were!  While I’m always a huge fan of black suits (duh….have you seen my closet?), I’m also a sucker for palm print ANYTHING, so I quickly ordered THESE two suits to try:I mean BOTH of these suits were less than $25 each!  If they fit great, I can definitely see myself ordering a few more before June!  I’ll keep you gals posted for sure!  I know what sensitive subject swimsuit shopping can be!  This might just be our answer ladies!  Stay tuned….the suits have shipped and should be here SOON!

Starbucks Cool Lime Refresher:  I rarely stray from my usual dark roast coffee at Starbucks, but this week I was headed into school for a 1/2 day & was just not in the mood for something HOT (it was warmer here – 60’s), so since I’m in love with just about anything lime, I decided to give one of these “refreshers” a whirl!  The barista assured me that it would still have a little “kick” from the green coffee extract, and that it did!  It was GREAT!  And, at 60 calories for the grande, I didn’t feel like it was that “bad” of an alternative!  If you’re a lime (and mint) fan – def. give this cool drink a whirl this spring/summer!

Do you gals get daily updates from ?  Seriously one of my fave emails to get daily!  You just NEVER know what types of cute (and inexpensive) unique things you’ll be browsing through!  If you’re not signed up for Jane – it’s an online boutique marketplace that has daily sales on women’s trends, home décor and kid’s clothing.  I’ve bought such cute things for Parker and myself!  The prices are right (be aware of the shipping – I won’t pay more than $4 for it!) & it’s so fun waking up to NEW stuff daily!  If you’re a clothing fan, def. look into Jane!!  My FAVORITE white cold shoulder top (I should have ordered one in every color!) is compliments of Jane!  I wear this baby EVERYWHERE!


That’s it for this Friday morning friends!  I told the kids last night that we were DEFINITELY getting to Starbucks before school today, so I have lunches to pack & the whole “getting ready” routine to start!  Stay tuned for the “secrets” to my FNP (Friday Night Pizzas).  Last weekend I did an amazing BBQ Chicken that I’m thinking about recreating again tonight!

xoxo – Jamie


Trader Joe’s

Happy Monday everyone!  This post about my beloved Trader Joe’s has been on my mind since my trip there last week!  While I don’t get to TJ’s as often as I’d like (I sure wish we had one closer to our house), I certainly take advantage by picking up my fave items whenever I DO venture that way!  Last Thursday I had the perfect opportunity because Parker had a dentist appointment in the late(r) afternoon, so I ended up just keeping her with me after the appointment so that she could join me on my Trader Joe’s run!  (My little lady makes any type of shopping trip much more fun!) So, after a quick lunch at Panera (Have you tried their new Chinese Citrus Cashew Salad with Chicken?  I had it twice last week for lunch b/c it was THAT good!  The half portion is all you need, too, trust me!), we headed to TJ’s where I proceeded to pick up my fave stuff!  I think I’ve shared several of those faves with you guys in a previous post, so I’m going to do something a little different here & share my all-time fave SALAD items because you know I’m a total salad lover!  I have one just about daily for lunch & also have no problems having another for dinner.  As long as my salads have a sturdy lettuce (romaine is probably my fave – sorry spinach & kale lovers), a protein (usually chicken), a few extra colorful veggies & crunchy topping (usually sunflower seeds), I’m good!!  Here are a few of my fave Trader Joe’s ingredients for the “perfect” salad:

1.  Organic Romaine 

2.  Grilled Chicken Breast Strips

3.  Sundried Tomatoes (found in produce section next to the fresh tomatoes)

4.  Pitted Kalamata Olives

5.  Canned Artichoke Hearts (in water) – a GREAT price for these babies!

6.  Roasted Peppers

7.  Persian Cucumbers

8.  Sunflower Seeds

9.  Balsamic Vinaigrette (while I DO love to make my own dressings, this one is really good in a pinch)  I guess this is a version of a Greek salad (without the feta and red onion) – I jus LOVE this combination of flavors!  The sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olives make me so happy!  Sad, but true!  In fact, I think I’ll throw a version of this salad together for dinner tonight since we are having TJ’s delicious chicken burgers (another favorite)! 

Are you a “regular” Trader Joe’s shopper?  If so, what are some of your “must haves?”  We LOVE the TJ’s in Naples, Florida & I’m sad to say that I probably made more trips THERE in just a few days (last June) than I did all year here in Indy!  Whoops!  Hey – vacation eating & grocery shopping is so much more fun, right?  If you guys try my salad, let me know!  It’s a goody!  Here’s to my fellow salad lovers out there!  Cheers!!!

Happy Monday!!!

xoxo – Jamie

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends!  We made it!  Although my work load was lighter than normal this week (I only worked a few full days & enjoyed a 1/2 day yesterday), it sure seems like it was a tiring week!  It got winter-like cold again here yesterday & after we got home from ballet, we quickly got in our pj’s, ate a quick dinner & waited for the hard-working hubs to get home!  Speaking of the hubs, a quick shout out to that guy – something I don’t do enough.  He’s taken on some new responsibilities and roles in his company & as a result, has been working pretty much non-stop.  The silver lining is the fact that despite how much he has been working (and thinking about work), I can tell he’s really enjoying work.  That’s not something I probably could have said 1 year ago!  Just as the saying goes for moms, I also believe it applies to dads/husbands…..if Daddy’s not happy (with work or whatever), no one’s happy!  Keep up the hard work, honey!  We appreciate everything we do for us so much!  I’m so glad you are enjoying work!  xoxoxoimg_7803And now on to a few Friday Faves……

Lipsense lipstick by Senegence – This lipstick is currently the buzz amongst many of my mommy friends here in Indy!  I mean, who likes to apply lipstick 10 million times a day – who has time for that?  As a lipstick LOVER (as in I probably don’t even leave the house without wearing it….ever), long-wear lipstick has always failed me!  It leaves my lips SUPER dry (and flakes oddly when I put a gloss over it) & really doesn’t last.  I was hesitant to purchase Lipsense at first because I was doing it WITHOUT trying it on first!  We all know how hard it is to match or even pick out a new color of lipstick.   I can’t tell you how many tubes I’ve donated to my daughter after purchasing at the store & then getting home to realize just how bad the color was for me & my skin tone!!  That said, one of my friends selling Lipsense really took the extra time to help me match a color.  I had been wearing (and loving) a color by Marc Jacobs called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, so after sending her pics of me wearing the color (and sharing color swatches from the internet), she picked out a GREAT match – the color is Caramel Apple.  I picked up the lipstick and gloss (essential to have both) on Monday & have been faithfully (and happily wearing) this great lipstick ever since!  It simply does NOT come off or even feel like most long-wear lipsticks!  It’s awesome!  Now, I DO find myself applying the lipgloss several times a day, but that’s only because I’m so used to that layer of gloss on my lips.  I apply the lipstick ONCE and don’t have to think about the color fading (or coming off on coffee mugs, straws, my kids’ cheeks, et .) ALL DAY!  It’s a miracle!  If you’re interested, let me know so that I can connect you with my friend Talia!  She’ll do a great job helping you pick out your color!   (I’m wearing Caramel Apple below!)16998991_10212430219454681_4252326703649834724_nInsta-Stories on Instagram – Do you watch these like I do?  As a proclaimed “video hater” whether it be on Facebook or a forwarded email (seriously, I never watch them….and “live” videos are probably the WORST), I’m surprised by how many Insta-stories I watch on a daily basis!  It’s sad!  I love that they are so short AND you can skip through them at random!  I follow so many cool and interesting people (I’ve never met) on Instagram that it’s fun to get a little peek into their lives….hear their voices, see what they’re up, where they’re eating, where they’re shopping to, etc.  This really is the only tolerable form of video if you ask me!  Haha!  Also, if you know me at all, you also know which stories are frequented!  Now will I ever add a “story?”  Don’t hold your breath! – Do you gals use this awesome shopping tool on Instagram?  If not, I highly recommend you sign up for an account!  If you follow fashion bloggers via Instagram this simply links you to pieces of their wardrobe.  I know, it kind of sounds creepy when you say it that way, but trust me, it’s actually so cool!  Who hasn’t seen a post by someone & thought, “Gosh, I wish I knew where she got that great jacket (or whatever)?”  Well, if they also have a account, simply like the post & you’ll get an email sent to you with links to all or many pieces of the outfit!  Genius!  That all said, don’t be surprised if you are suddenly linked up to a $800 pair of “everyday” boots that you’ll NEVER buy (and wear to school pick up) or a bag for $2k that’s a “must have!”  I laugh at several of my “likes” simply because I do not have a fashion budget like that, but it sure is fun to dream!  I also do a lot of outfit “copying” – affordably (read….Nordstrom Rack, Target, Old Navy…..).  If you love clothes (and accessories) & Instagram, def. sign up for this!   (Here’s a pic of an actual email that I received last night after liking this gal’s Instagram post.  Isn’t that cardigan the cutest?  Target!!!!)img_0134Lunch with friends Since I’ve been working almost daily, it’s been hard to get together with several of my girlfriends.  On Tuesday I had a doctor’s appointment, so I didn’t work & subsequently quickly made plans to have lunch with one of my dearest friends.  THANK GOD I made this plans because while at the doctor I got some surprising news – – – I have to have surgery!  What the what?  Good Lordy I have just been through a long post-surgery “downtime” from my beloved workouts….I simply cannot bear another!  That said, it’s supposedly a simple laparoscopic fix of a “sports” (ingeniual) hernia (which I had mistaken for a swollen lymph node – duh!).  That said, after receiving this news I was NOT happy….in fact, I was pretty depressed.  Like I said, backing off of my usual tough, heavy-lifting workouts has been really hard on me & JUST when I thought I’d be getting back to my beloved burpees, push ups, mountain climbers, etc., here comes another setback!  This friend has the ability to cheer me up EVERY time…..I’m so thankful for her (and lunch)!  I meet with the surgeon on Tuesday to figure out the whens and hows, so I’ll keep you guys posted.  Pray that it’s a week-long recovery or maybe that I don’t even need surgery?  Haha!  Thanks!16999190_10212448145342817_3113344774642460187_n

YIKES!  I’ve gone way over on my Friday-morning-blogging-time limit!  I need to hit the shower & get to Starbucks (before school)!

Hope everyone has a GREAT Friday!

xoxo – Jamie



Foodie….Monday? Italian Turkey Sausage & Veggie Soup

It seems weird for me to post a foodie recipe on a Monday for some reason – – Foodie Friday sounds so much better, but this recipe could not wait!  I whipped up a huge pot of this Italian Turkey Sausage & Veggie Soup yesterday afternoon & can’t wait to serve it this week….plus enjoy the leftovers for lunch while I’m at school!  So, I wish I could link you up with a specific recipe I used, but I came up with this one myself!  I took a little from this recipe & then a little from that recipe until….VOILA!  My own version of this light & tasty soup!  Here are the details:d49f0be0-5fdd-4d84-ad87-393c6c436da6Ingredients:

1 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage links (remove sausage from casings)

1/2 onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of diced carrots

1 can of white beans (drained, rinsed)

1 can of Italian style diced tomatoes

1 can of petite diced tomatoes

I large carton of chicken broth

Salt/Pepper/Italian Seasonings (I used Trader Joe’s Pizza blend!)

1 bag of spinach


  1.  Saute onion and garlic in pot with a drizzle of olive oil until soft.  2.  Add turkey sausage & once it starts to brown, add carrots until soft.  3.  Sprinkle with Italian seasonings.  4.  Add both cans of tomatoes, chicken broth, and beans.  5.  Allow soup to come to a boil, reduce heat & let simmer for 20 minutes.  6.  Turn up heat & add 1/2 bag of fresh spinach (or more).  7.  Reduce heat (again) and serve topped with fresh grated parmesan and red pepper flakes.  Enjoy!!!!

*** You can substitute kale for the spinach ***

Click HERE to view a very similar recipe from one of my fave foodie blogs – Iowa Girl Eats!italian-sausage-spinach-and-tomato-soup-iowagirleats-02



A Slow Sunday

And that’s exactly what it is over here this morning…..slooooow and quiet!  The kiddies had a sleepover at Mimi & Grandpa’s house last night so that Chris and I could have a much-needed date night!  I honestly can’t tell you the last time he and I were out to dinner!  It’s definitely been a while & was way overdue!  I’m so thankful for grandparent (baby)sitters for our kids!  Chris and I hit one of our fave spots here in Indy – Ruth’s Chris.  While Chris and the kiddies had been over the summer (while I was in Florida), I can’t tell you the last time I had eaten there!  I guess I should have said it was a PRE-kids fave spot for us considering how infrequently we’ve been since having kids!  Haha!  Funny how that happens!  Anyway, we’re “bar seats only” patrons because the people watching at a place like that is just TOO good!  We didn’t plan on an elaborate meal (trust me, it’s easy to do there), but settled with a few glasses of wine, the “crab stack” appetizer (amazing), a salad for me & filet with mashed potatoes for Chris.  It was so yummy & fun!!!!  An older couple ended up sitting next to us at the bar & I instantly fell in love with how cute they were (and of course the woman and my hubby became quick friends)!  A huge thank you to my ‘rents for letting us get out & enjoy ourselves!  It was such a treat! img_0059So…the kids enjoyed a sleepover & I got this cute pic from my mom this morning…..nothing better than Sunday morning donuts, right? img_0065Anyway….here I sit (the hubs is golfing) in a quiet house mentally preparing for the week ahead!  So far I’m only at school 2 full days & have tomorrow “off”, which I LOVE!  Who likes to work on Mondays anyway, right?  Last week, despite only having 3 days of school + work, just felt exhausting, so I’m hoping this week is more low key for the whole fam!  I mean, this weather here in Indy better figure itself out, too!  Did you know that it was over 70 degrees here on Friday & then was SNOWING yesterday morning as I drove to the gym?  I mean, how is that possible?  Look at what I came back to after class – ICE covering my windshield!  Not cool!  img_0047This makes me dream (more than usual) about our summer vacation in June!  I mean, that is only 3 months away!  Naples (you beautiful place you) here we come! img_7072img_7061I mean….talk about favorite places.  Naples is definitely one of mine for so many reasons!  Such amazing memories made here!  Let the countdown begin!  No Spring Break trip for us – summer is where it’s at!

Anyway….I’m rambling (and enjoying the quiet).  My goal was to get a big pot of soup started for 1 dinner this week & then multiple lunches, so I better decide just what kind I should make!  I’m debating between my go-to chicken tortilla OR more of an Italian-style with turkey sausage, spinach, tomatoes & white beans……I’ll share which one I picked over on Instagram, so make sure you follow me there!

Hope everyone has a cozy Sunday & a great week!

xoxo – Jamie

Spring Fever Friday Faves

Happy Friday friends!  It’s quite possible I FEEL like we’ve just had a full week of school even though ours was a short one (3 days)!  Hmmm…..How does that happen?  We loved having Monday AND Tuesday off, but somehow we must not have rested enough because here we are on Friday morning feeling quite run down!  Of course the fact that we’ve been teased with this incredible warmer weather here in the Midwest isn’t going to help – – it’s supposed to be over 70 degrees today and tomorrow’s high?  Oh somewhere in the 30’s!!  How crazy is that?  I mean, is it really only February?

Speaking of these mild temps & the weather here in Indy……I’m sharing a few Friday Faves which are directly related!  Let’s call them my “Spring Fever Faves” because I have the fever……bad!!!!

OPI’s Figi Collection – “I Can Never Hut Up”:  I had to make an emergency trip to the nail salon on Monday because two of my nails had randomly cracked & needed a professional’s touch/repair.  I had my last gel manicure roughly two weeks ago, so I just wanted a gel polish change AND goodness….my toes done too because these temps had me thinking I might have to pull out some sandals or peep toes!  I decided to give one of the color’s in OPI’s newest Fiji collection a try – a perfect, light & beautiful grey called “I Can Never Hut Up!”  I love it!  It’ll be perfect going into “real” spring……whenever that happens!  For now, however, it’s definitely been the right color, too, for these teaser temps!i_can_never_hut_up_1024x1024

Lucky Brand’s Larise Booties:  While out grabbing lunch & making some returns with my mom & Parker on Tuesday I came across THESE beauties at DSW!  I had my eye on several pairs of peep toe booties (again….thinking about the transition from winter to spring due to the temps), but these were everything I had been looking for – a great heel, cut outs on the side, perforation & the best?  COMFORT!  I couldn’t believe how comfortable these were when I quickly slipped them on!  I mean, could it be possible that I might be able to wear these an entire school day?  You bet I’m going to try!  While I didn’t buy them right away (1.  Because they only had my size in black (and I wanted the brown b/c I wear brown with EVERYTHING!  2.  I had a $20 off coupon that started on the 23rd.), you bet I added them to my online cart just as soon as we left the store and then waited until yesterday to scoop them up.  I ended up using my $20 off coupon PLUS I saved another $10 by using an online promo code!  Talk about a GREAT deal!  I’m so excited (but probably won’t get a chance to wear them until May)!!!! 3widesearch

White jeans (are back in my life….temporarily):  You guys know I’m a lover of white jeans….1.  Because I can wear them to school & they are not considered “jeans.”  2.  They pretty much just look amazing with everything.  I had planned on wearing them through the winter, but I admit I just felt like I couldn’t pull it off when temps were lower than 50.  (Don’t ask me why!)  You bet I pulled them back out, however, when the temps started climbing into the high 60’s here!  In fact, I’ve worn them to school the past two days…..on Monday with my brown booties & yesterday with my dark grey Converse Shoreline’s! 16938606_10212384217584663_4425917570959892763_nYou might think that I’m going to say my favorite white jeans are some expensive brand….but, they’re not!  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever paid over $60 for a pair of jeans in my life…..true story!  I wore Old Navy’s Mid Rise Rockstar jeans on Monday…..old-navy-cool-tie-dye-the-rockstar-skinny-jeans-product-1-8544401-287924038…..and I wore a pair of Modern Skinny Fit’s from Ann Taylor Loft yesterday!  s-l1000Both were definitely under $50 when I bought them!  I’m thinking I’d like a more “distressed” ankle length pair for this spring/summer…, if you have any suggestions, feel free to send them my way!

Converse Shoreline’s:  I think I shocked a few friends when I mentioned last year that I thought I might like a pair of these!  Now, however, I can’t imagine not having them!  They are PERFECT for “jean’s day” at school!  I love wearing them with cropped jeans!!  I pulled mine out this week & have worn them the past 2 days to school!  (The color I have is “charcoal…seen below!)2766717-p-multiviewThat’s it for now – – – I’ll check back in this weekend when winter comes back to haunt us!  I’m sure I’ll feel more like being in front of the computer & not outside like I have the past week!  Hope everyone has a GREAT Friday!  Enjoy those temps here in Indy while they last!

xoxo – Jamie